Where to Find Professional Advisors
Resolving family business challenges and structuring succession and estate documents usually requires help from a variety of professional advisors. Where should a family look for advisors with experience working with family firms? Several resources stand out.
Referrals from other family businesses
Seek out other family businesses with whom you are familiar and respect. They may be willing to offer advice and referrals to professionals that have been helpful to their business.
The Austin Family Business Program Website hosts the Advisor Search listing. Past Excellence in Family Business Award honorees have provided information on professionals that they feel other family businesses may be interested in interviewing. The list could be used a starting point in identifying professionals in your area. Agricultural family businesses will want to look at the newly launched Ag Advisor Search for a growing list of professionals with experience in the ag sector.
Trade or Professional Organizations
Groups to which you or your business belong can be excellent sources for advisor referrals. Many trade and industry organizations hold events with professional speakers on succession, conflict, and other family business issues. These are also great places to connect with other business owners in your industry.
Family Business 360
Each Family Business 360 breakfast and webinar event is delivered by top-caliber experts. Attending these events is a great way to get exposure to a wide variety of professionals, ask questions, and follow up with interviews if the connection feels right. You can also hear from a variety of advisors on the Family Business 360 podcast.
Industry groups for professional advisors
Several groups exist for advisors with family business experience, and most provide a directory of their members. The “Attorneys for Family-Held Enterprises” (AFHE), the “National Association of Estate Planners and Councils” and WealthCounsel are three great places to start.
Once you have identified potential advisors, it's time to set up interviews and find the best fit for your family business. For more information on how to choose professional advisors, download “Tips for Hiring a Professional Advisor for Your Family Enterprise” from the Austin Family Business Program.