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Good Ways to Structure a Business With Family Involved?

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PureA

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I am starting an agency with my younger brother. The sensible thing would be to just put him on a salary but I want to include him in the business. He's 20 and inexperienced but has some experience in writing copy etc.

The obvious structure would be for me to own 100% of the company and just hire my bro. But I would like to feel like we are together in our mission. Any of you guys have a smart way to structure this so we are in the game together?
 

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WJK

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The first issue is that you haven't talked about is IF he wants to be part of your business. What are his long-range plans for his education and career?
Second -- he's 20 years old. Is he old and wise enough to know what he really wants?
Third -- What does your brother have to bring to the table? Can he pull his own weight?

I'd start with you owing the business. In time, set up a program where he can buy in either with work or money. Give him a chance to prove himself. It must be fair to you. If you give ANYTHING to another person that they don't feel like they deserve, they WILL end up hating you for giving to them. Don't set your brother up to either be angry with you or overly dependent on you. You want him to organically grow as a person. You can be a big part of that as his big brother. He'll need space to explore the world. You must give this time to see how it develops.
 

PureA

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Dec 24, 2013
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The first issue is that you haven't talked about is IF he wants to be part of your business. What are his long-range plans for his education and career?
Second -- he's 20 years old. Is he old and wise enough to know what he really wants?
Third -- What does your brother have to bring to the table? Can he pull his own weight?

I'd start with you owing the business. In time, set up a program where he can buy in either with work or money. Give him a chance to prove himself. It must be fair to you. If you give ANYTHING to another person that they don't feel like they deserve, they WILL end up hating you for giving to them. Don't set your brother up to either be angry with you or overly dependent on you. You want him to organically grow as a person. You can be a big part of that as his big brother. He'll need space to explore the world. You must give this time to see how it develops.

Thanks for your response.

He currently works for an agency writing copy on a low wage, 1.5kusd/month. I have very briefly mentioned it and he would keen to work together on a project. At the very least for the next 5 years. The only skill he has is writing copy for 6 months so this is why I am hesitant to just throw us into a 50% partnership, I think I would be resentful as I bring 90% of the value at this time.
 

WJK

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Thanks for your response.

He currently works for an agency writing copy on a low wage, 1.5kusd/month. I have very briefly mentioned it and he would keen to work together on a project. At the very least for the next 5 years. The only skill he has is writing copy for 6 months so this is why I am hesitant to just throw us into a 50% partnership, I think I would be resentful as I bring 90% of the value at this time.
Then bring him as an employee or an independent contractor and pay him better than he is currently making. In 5 years, in his mid-20s, he'll be a different person from the one he is today. Young people really change over those years. Let him approach you about a partnership later. Put it off for a few years. You don't have to say no. Just keep putting him off. I've raised two families so I have a different point of view than I did when I was that age.
 

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