Of the 28.8 million small businesses in America, 19% are owned by families. “Family-owned” means “any business in which two or more family members operate the company, and the majority of ownership or control lies within a family.”

Our latest infographic examines the achievements and challenges for American family businesses.

Are family businesses successful?

  • Family-owned businesses employ 60% of the US workforce and create 78% of all new jobs.
  • Family businesses generate 64% of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Family-owned businesses range in size:

  • 1.2 million of family-owned small businesses are run by a husband and wife.
  • They can range from 2 people to thousands in a Fortune 500 company.

Challenges family businesses face:

  • 30% of family businesses survive the transition from first to second generation ownership.
  • 12% survive the transition from second to third generation.
  • Only 13 percent of family businesses remain in the family over 60 years.
  • And 47% of family business owners expecting to retire in five years DO NOT have a successor.

How do family businesses survive?

  • Good governance - 94% of family-owned firms are controlled by supervisory or advisory boards.
  • Focus on the next generation - Over 40% of companies included younger family members on boards and committees to nurture business and management skills.
  • Customer and employee-oriented - 74% of family-owned firms report stronger values and culture.

Infographic: The Family Business—Successes and Obstacles

Infographic: The Family Business—Successes and Obstacles