Editor(s): Barbara R Hauser and Alon Kaplan

Publication date: Dec 2020

Format: A4 Softback

Pages: 151

Price: £95.00

ISBN: 9781787424067

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Life Cycle of a Family Business is like a wonderful Gem; nine Contributors look at Family Businesses from eight different angles and stages. Each one from the Prism of their own expertise. Together this becomes a Diamond, condensed, shining and precious.

- Philippe J. Weil , Multi Family Office Founder & Author


Practitioners as well as families owning a family business will benefit from this book as it fills a prevalent vacuum in addressing and advising on vital family and business related questions, questions that are crucial to sustaining any family business…The holistic discussion and the detail with which the reader is familiarized will certainly stimulate further thought and develop a greater understanding of the workings of family businesses worldwide. As such the book is also an ideal starting point with a view to any corporate structuring for international families, both in the pre- as well as the later structuring phases.


- Dr. Johanna Niegel LL.M., LL.M., TEP, Head Russia & CIS Desk, Allgemeines Treuunternehmen (ATU)


This Special Report on the Life Cycle of a Family Business offers vital insights for a business owner to help “keep the business in the family” while “keeping the family in the business” and the business alive, adaptive and competitive. With chapters on key phases in the business and family lifecycles, it delivers a cogent framework for designing (and continuously redesigning), managing, building and transmitting a business across multiple generations. It guides founders, their families, non-family executives and professional advisors.

- William B Bierce, Bierce & Kenerson, P.C.


The book sets out a framework and best practices for identifying, separating, harmonizing and optimizing the potentially conflicting roles of the business operator, business owner and family members across predictable scenarios. It is a one-stop collection bringing together international contributors.

- Tom Burroughes, Wealth Briefing

The ‘life cycle’ of a family business is a fascinating process. Beginning with the initial entrepreneur starting the business, it encompasses the development of the business to success, involvement of family members in the business, estate planning, preparation for integration of the next generation, creating a family constitution to regulate relationships among family members, and creating a family trust when appropriate. The completion of the cycle then gives the option of continuing - to potentially become one of the one-hundred-year businesses.

This Special Report is a one-stop collection bringing together a distinguished team of international contributors, each an expert in their respective field with a global reputation, to cover the entire life cycle of a family business. It provides guidance on many of the key issues encountered including governance issues, protecting the family business assets, fostering entrepreneurship and succession planning. 

Life Cycle of Family Business is a unique source of knowledge for family businesses and professionals working in this specialist field. In this very readable single volume - edited by Barbara R Hauser and Alon Kaplan - those involved in family businesses can benefit from its expert guidance, at any stage of the life cycle.

Key features at a glance: 

  • Structured so that readers can choose and focus on the particular stage and potential challenges they and their business are facing at one time, as well as look ahead to see next steps, covering the beginning, middle and alternate endings of family businesses 
  • Looks at the Continuity Canvas to provide insight into the approaches that successful business-owning families use to diagnose and plan in order to survive and thrive
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of building and maintaining the emotional equity of the family, while at the same time building and strengthening the equity of the business, including the key role played by trust (and forgiveness when trust is broken) and expressions of trust, gratitude and love
  • Offers five essential perspectives for designing, building, and launching a board of directors that anticipates and delivers governance capabilities that the evolving business and family will need, with practical tools to initiate and measure board development progress, methods for managing board costs in relation to value creation, and a basic design for evaluating board effectiveness
  • Covers the potential risks of a divorce to a family business and the potential protections available to them - e.g. nuptial agreements, shareholders agreements, the benefits and risks of spouses being office holder or minority shareholders, and confidentiality provisions - as well as coverage of legal cases to help readers anticipate how a court is likely to deal with a family business on divorce and how best to protect family business assets in that scenario
  • Reflects on the why, what and how of fostering entrepreneurial thinking and acting inside the family business, and lays out the key family and business benefits from fostering entrepreneurialism
  • Contains a list of key design questions to work through to ensure a fair process is followed in succession design and to enable the owning family to arrive at a solution that is truly unique to their circumstances, as well as a checklist of key leadership attributes to assist the owning family develop their job description of the next leader or leadership team
  • Understand the common dilemmas that arise in each new generation and learn how to help families prepare and anticipate new dilemmas as they grow