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Helping Family Businesses
Prosper Across Generations®

Policy Development

Developing policies before they are needed creates an opportunity for families to address potentially sensitive issues before they become personalized—that is, before they actually apply to someone.

-- Developing Family Business Policies, Aronoff, et al

Family business policies do much more than simply document processes or decisions. The process of creating, documenting and sharing these policies allows a family to protect itself against future conflict, by specifying up front how a wide variety of potentially contentious issues will be handled. Policies can answer challenging questions like:

  • Which family members can work in the business? How do they become eligible?
  • How are family members in the business evaluated and compensated?
  • How will the family handle terminating a family member that isn’t performing?
  • What role does ownership have in decision making? What decisions are made by management?
  • How do we make decisions as a family? How do we resolve disagreements?
  • Who can serve on the board of directors? For how long? What are the responsibilities that come with that?
  • What financial information is disclosed to the family? Does it differ based on owner/non-owner, director/non-director?
  • How are spouses treated within the business? Do they have a voice in family decision making?
  • What do we hold confidential? What can we share with spouses and children?
  • What role does philanthropy play in the business? In the family?
  • Who can own shares? How and when is stock given, bought and sold?

Our consultant team works with family businesses to explore whether the family is ready to create policies, and define a process to create and implement these policies that creates alignment within the family through shared dialogue and decision making. The result? Clear guidance on applying the family’s values to business decisions and freeing generations to come from damaging conflict.

Contact us to learn how your family can begin the process of implementing business policies.

8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Ste 1340W, Chicago, IL 60631
P: 773.604.5005 E: 

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