Assuming there is an intention to keep the business in the family then the following questions should be considered by the family.

Questions for the Current Generation to consider:

  • Management
    • How is the next generation of managers being prepared?
    • How will you know when they are ready?
    • When will you know they are ready to assume responsibility?
    • When should the next leader be identified?
    • How do you go about selecting the next business leader?
    • Who should succeed as the next leader?
    • What qualities does he/she need?
    • When do you know it is time to step down?
    • Will you continue to have a role and if so, what would you like that role to be?

 

  • Ownership
    • Who should own the business in the future?
    • Should all children own the business equally, whether or not they work in business?
    • How do you reconcile the interests of family members who work for the company, and those who pursue other interests?
    • How will the financial needs of the incumbent generation be addressed?
    • Will you need a shareholders’ agreement?
    • Are there grandchildren to consider?
    • What do the next generation think about ownership?

 

Questions for the Next Generation to consider:

  • Do you want to work in the family business?
  • Do you want to manage/direct the family business?
  • How will you know when you are ready to take the reins?
  • What do you want from the incumbent generation?
  • What do you need from the incumbent generation?
  • How do you feel about working with your siblings?
  • Would you like to own the family business?
  • How do you view fairness and equality of ownership with your siblings as between those that work in the business and those that have pursued careers outside of the family business?