Transferring a business to a family member

Identify a potential family successor


Any family member you nominate to take over your business must:

  • demonstrate leadership skills
  • possess the required skills and competencies to run your business
  • be fully committed to the role
  • have the full support of others in the business

It's important to conduct discussions early on with possible successors. To help you put personal issues aside when considering the commercial future of your business, ensure you hold these discussions on business premises rather than at home.

And remember that although you might dream of one of your children taking over, he or she may have other aspirations.

It can help to take advice on who is the best person for the role from an objective outsider such as a non-executive director, business adviser or accountant.

Your successor should have both strategic plans and a vision for your business - though you may need to accept that these may be different from your own. Skills that may, for example, have helped you set up your business won't necessarily be the same as those needed to develop it further.

It can also help if your successor has at least a few years' outside experience. This will introduce fresh ideas into the business and is likely to make them more acceptable to non-family employees.