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Is working with family a dream or the start of a nightmare?

Owning a business is an exciting and challenging endeavor. You may have owned your business for years before you had a child, but since then, you have imagined bringing your child into the company and, possibly, passing the operations over to him or her when the time warrants it.

Though these dreams may bring a warm feeling to your heart, you may want to remember that among the challenges of owning a business is the potential for conflict among business partners, management, employees and, if applicable, family members. If the time has come to bring your child into the company in a serious capacity, you may want to remember that disputes are possible.

Effectively handle conflict

Whether you notice discord from the beginning or you and your child experience smooth sailing for years before conflict arises, you may want to prepare for possible disagreements. Expecting complications because family and business life is overlapping may keep you and your child from feeling disillusioned that the business relationship will be perfect.

Fortunately, you can take steps to lessen the potential for conflict and create an environment conducive to conflict resolution. First, you may want to keep lines of communication open. This communication may even involve discussing procedures for handling conflicts that may arise. Understanding the process may help both you and your child feel more comfortable addressing any issues that may come up. Allowing open communication may also prevent problems from simmering and becoming greater issues.

Obtain help when needed

As a parent and business owner, you undoubtedly have experience taking charge when disputes arise. However, you may feel differently when it comes to family conflict in the business place. It may help you to bring in a neutral third party, like a mediator, to help keep discussions on topic when trying to come to conflict resolution. These parties have no direct interest in the conflict or the outcome, so they are helpful in ensuring that both sides have their say and keeping negotiations moving forward.

Of course, some situations may warrant legal action, and though it may seem harsh or disloyal, speaking to a Missouri attorney about your options for handling family business disputes may help you keep your business from suffering unnecessarily. Having this information, even if it is not used, could bring peace of mind.

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