Book Review: The Family Business Guide – By Frederick D. Lipman


The structure of a family business as a business model has been one of my all time favourites, after all over 80 % of all businesses around the world are family businesses. Running a family business can be a very stable and fulfilling way to run a business, as it grants the family members a great deal of personal freedom and lifestyle choices.

When I first was sent the book – The Family Business Guide by Frederick D. Lipman – by the publishers for review, I was expecting a typical small business guide, with a slight slant on family business. I could not have been further of the mark.

“Everything You Need to Know to Manage Your Business from Legal Planning to Business Strategies”

This really sums it up quite well, follow that by reading the small CV about the author and you will realise this is a hard hitting, very pragmatic approach to family business, by one of the foremost legal experts in the US when it comes to all things family business. I know what you’re thinking now, legal…. not interested! That would be the wrong reaction if you’re interested or already run a family business. As Frederick D Lipman uses his vast personal experience to highlight issues like:

– Succession Planning

– Family Employment Agreements

– Family Shareholder Issues

All these are underpinned by real stories about family business successes and failures, worst & best practises – these stories for me are the best part of the book as they allow you to relate to the issues you encounter without the legal jargon. Yes, there are legal contract examples for you to consider, but what makes this book relevant are the case studies. This is also the reason why this book is relevant outside the US too, ignore the legal documents and immerse yourself in Frederick’s vast knowledge and first hand real life experience that spans decades of family business endeavours.

I can highly recommend this book to anyone, thinking about or running a family business. In fact after reading this book I’m even more convinced that a family business is a great way to start a business, just read the book – it will advance your thinking by a decade.

The Family Business Guide is available from a variety of outlets online, in both the UK and the US. It can be found here on Amazon – it really is well worth a read for everyone involved in, or thinking of starting a family business.

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