Welcome to Murtha Cullina’s Family Business Perspectives Blog. This Blog is designed to identify and comment on common legal issues and current cases and developments that affect family-owned and controlled businesses.
Why focus on family-owned businesses?
Approximately 90% of businesses in the United States are family-owned or controlled. These businesses generate over 50% of the country’s GDP. Clearly, there are some noteworthy and very large family-owned or controlled businesses, including Walmart, Ford, and SC Johnson Company (which proudly bills itself in its ads as “a family company”), and these companies have succeeded through many generations of family management and ownership. There are also millions of other less well-known family businesses which operate on a smaller scale or strictly in their local markets – from the corner store, to the family farm, to the manufacturing company in the local industrial park, to the real estate holding company that owns and manages commercial or residential buildings, and so on. Regardless of the industry, all these family businesses, at one point or another, face the common issues of whether the business will transfer to a future generation, when and on what terms that may happen, and which family members will continue to be involved.