NINETY PERCENT of businesses in America are family-owned or controlled.
They range from behemoths like Walmart, Ford, Mars and Marriott to small businesses with less than 500 employees, which make up the vast majority.
Research shows that family businesses generate more than 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product. They employ 62 percent of the U.S. workforce. Half of our total wages paid come from family businesses, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
It's estimated that 70 percent of family businesses die off after the first generation. Lack of a succession plan is a big reason. Some also cite estate taxes, also known as "death taxes," that fall on those who inherit businesses valued at a certain amount.