Keeping a business going when relationships break down

Marilyn Bell, Head of the Family Department, and Chris Wilks, Head of the Corporate and Commercial department at SA Law, write for SME and consider the risks of setting up a family business

Family businesses form the lifeblood of the UK's economy. There are a great number of reasons why family businesses are a fantastic venture – they usually have stability, enjoy lang standing tenures from employees, loyalty and commitment running right through their core and have intrinsic cultures that large businesses often struggle to match.

However, there are a number of risks to consider when setting up a family business – specifically how to avoid a total breakdown of the business if a key relationship crumbles such as a director or shareholder that can have a significant impact on how the business can be run going forward or could impact it's ability to continue trading in some scenarios. 

Head of Family Law Marilyn Bell and Head of Corporate Law Chris Wilks share their thoughts with SME Online, an online source of information for UK businesses, about how family businesses can avoid a total breakdown of the business is a key relationship fails and what not to do, including failing to document agreements e.g. when promising children a stake in the family business.

Click here to go to SME online to read the article.

Divorce and family law red chair
Views & Insights
Pre-Nups and the Family Business

Pre-nups are a difficult subject at the best of times, when there is a family business involved too, that can cause additional difficulty.

Stained glass window
Views & Insights
How to handle difficult conversations with employees

Let’s face it – no one likes conflict, but if you supervise teams of people or work in HR, you will be ambushed by tricky management issues and will need…

Photo of a red arrow
Views & Insights
Keeping it in the family

For some, joining a family business is as exciting as it is daunting. Our corporate team share some pearls of wisdom from their years advising a range…

Divorce and family law red chair
Views & Insights
Keeping things amicable with your ex – is it really possible to remain friends or continue a business together?

Parents are encouraged to work together to agree arrangements that best meet the needs of their children and that are going to work in practice for their…

Divorce and family law red chair
Views & Insights
Never underestimate the importance of the ‘Status Quo’

When relationships break down, amidst the hurt (and often anger) it is very easy to take immediate action based on an emotional response to the situation.…

Lets Talk About It
Difficult Conversations
Let's Talk About HR

Difficult conversations avoided by managers could land you in the employment tribunal – our Let’s Talk About It campaign aims to prevent this

Stained glass window
Views & Insights
An employer’s guide to tackling bullying and harassment at work

SA Law Partner Keely Rushmore explains in The Guardian how best to handle bullying and harassment in the workplace...


If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or a Family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Marilyn Bell on 01727 798009. 

© SA LAW 2019

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.