Should your business have a family council?

Family business experts often advocate a family council to help the family sustain effective communication and make important decisions.

family meeting

A family council serves as a forum where family members can discuss their expectations for the business and for one another.

The council can include all family members who are vital to the future of the business – the founder or current owner, spouse, children and other family members who have a significant interest in the business.

You may want to have a family business consultant’s assistance in establishing a family council. Your CPA can provide those services.

The consultant will first determine what your family wants to accomplish by discussing the following types of questions:

  • What is the family’s overall vision for itself and for the business?
  • Does the family want to continue the business as a family enterprise?
  • What are the guidelines for bringing other family members into the business?
  • What is the role of the business in the lives of family members who choose not to work in the business?

After the council is established, you might want to consider asking your consultant to facilitate the meetings as an objective third party.