With Father’s Day this weekend, it’s time to celebrate family-owned businesses in the UK. It’s important to recognise the role that fathers, sons and daughters play in making the business a success.

There are around three million family firms in the UK providing nine million jobs, according to the Institute for Family Business (IFB). Family firms are crucial to our economic success.

Business transfer  

The rising number of family businesses suggests that many firms are sustaining growth alongside managing any risks, includingFather's Day - British Gas succession planning. For family firms, this means you should prepare for passing control of your business down to the next generation.

Having a new owner means the business can take on new life whilst keeping with tradition.

Remarkable history

Britain’s oldest business RJ Balson & Son, has been going strong for nearly 500 years. Richard Balson’s family have been butchers since Henry VIII was on the throne. The firm’s founder, John Balson, started with a market stall in 1535.

Stretching back 25 generations and surviving floods, fires and wars, the business is now run by John’s great-great-grandson Richard Balson.

Business is booming, and shoppers as far afield as the U.S. can order their fresh products online.


Working with your father or any other family member can potentially lead to conflict if you don’t know what’s expected of you. Make sure your role is clearly defined but be prepared to compromise. If it’s your dad’s turn to make the tea, put the kettle on and hope he takes the hint!

You’ll have to work out who makes key decisions such as monitoring business electricity suppliers to ensure you’re getting the most competitive rates across electricity and business gas.

Make sure you listen to each other and discuss any challenges or ideas for development. Working closely together, you can build a strong relationship based on trust and communication. Having a common goal will keep you motivated and provide the business with stability.


Britain has many examples of successful father and son/daughter business owners.

Sky Chinese Cuisine in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne is co-owned and managed by Steve Chan who has over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. Steve works alongside his wife and two daughters, who manage the marketing and operations within the restaurant. The family connections provide an essential backbone in the structure of the business.

Richard and Henry Williams are the fourth generation of the family to head the 102-year-old business Williams Automobiles. The specialist dealership is based in Bristol and supplies British performance cars such as Morgan and Lotus.

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