Should you bring your kids into the family business?

You’ve always been an independent person, and your kids are pretty much the same. You accepted that your dreams may not be their dreams – and that includes your plans for (what is currently) the “family business.”

Now, however, at least one of your children has expressed an interest in joining your team. On one hand, you’re delighted at the idea of having a child in place to take over the business when you’re ready to retire. On the other hand, you’ve heard that mixing family and business can be a disaster.

What should you do? Here are some questions to ask yourself that might help you figure out the answer:

Does your child have the right skills?

Unless you want to convey the image to your other team members that nepotism rules all, you need to make sure that your child has the requisite skills to do the job at the level you’re bringing them in.

That means if your child has a newly-minted Masters of Business Administration, you might be justified in bringing them in at a lower management level, but a child who is just a year or so out of high school might be better suited on the company floor.

What are the family dynamics involved?

Every family is unique, and so is every child. If you want your business to continue to thrive under your child’s control some day in the future, your child needs to learn every aspect of the job – and that means you can’t cut them a break.

If your child feels like they should get special perks (or a paycheck for doing virtually nothing) since their parent is the boss, you may both end up disappointed (and at war). You also need to consider how well you and your child get along. If your personalities have never really meshed, you may not want to work together.

Planning for the future of your business isn’t an easy job. You can’t exactly peek into a crystal ball to see every possible challenge you may face, but experienced legal guidance can help you get set on the right path.


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