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Family-run businesses bring benefits and challenges together

The American dream. It could include going to college, starting a family or being fortunate enough to travel the world at leisure. For some people, including some in New Jersey, that dream might involve starting a business with your family. For many, it begins with an inspired idea, continues with a business plan and gains momentum from there.

This dream could come in the form of a closely held corporation. This type of family-owned business involves very few owners without outside shareholders.

Take the case of a father-and-daughter business that was started with the goal of helping schools manage their energy use. The daughter came up with the idea when she was working in her father’s business while searching for other work.

The family members think that working as partners presents challenges but is ultimately beneficial for their business. The daughter found that she brought creativity into the business and was able to push ideas at her father in a way that was different, and better, than if she was working in a traditional job with a traditional employee-boss relationship.

For his part, the father found that his previous business experience helped their business by allowing him to work with his daughter to create a business plan and turn the idea into an actual business. He feels he is better able to protect interests and help the business by providing credibility with potential business clients, something he thinks would be more difficult for a young person without the attested validity of years of experience.

The father-daughter partnership, along with other families involved in businesses together, seem to suggest that there needs to be a division between work and family life. Others have noted that respect is an important aspect of these types of businesses. Of course, understanding all of the legal aspects of a closely held business is important as well in ensuring the success of a business.

Source: The Guardian, “The perks and perils of running a family business from home,” Alison Coleman, Jan. 6, 2014

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Paramus, NJ 07652

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