Family business owners are more focused on sustaining their business’s longevity than on sustaining wealth across future generations, according to a new survey. 

A recent Ernst & Young poll during a November 7 webcast on family businesses found that 22 percent of the 350 survey respondents said they are more concerned with the longevity of their business than on establishing wealth across generations. 

Less than half of the family businesses polled (49%) indicated they are training family members for succession planning, and 33% haven’t thought about planning to prepare future generations involvement in succession planning and/or taking over the business. 

Among those family business owners who said they plan to sustain business assets for future generations, 42% indicated they plan to provide a long-term management strategy, 22% said they would establish brand recognition and consumer loyalty, 7% said they would align interest with executives and other important board members, and 7% said they would develop unique, niche or innovative products.

The survey also found that year-end tax planning is challenging for family business owners, with 58% of the survey respondents saying they would consider year-end tax planning difficult for both themselves as individual taxpayers and for their businesses.

Among the key changes confronting business owners this year, 56% of the survey respondents said they considered the Affordable Care Act the biggest tax change, followed by the American Tax Relief Act with 22% of respondents.

Michael Cohn is the editor-in-chief of

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