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Death, Where Is Thy Sting?

Chart of family-owned business owners' concerns about ownership succession.
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Even though estate taxes -- currently around 55% -- can cripple or destroy a family-owned business, other issues loom larger for owners, says a survey by Arthur Andersen & Co. and National Small Business United, a lobbying group. Too much emphasis on avoiding estate taxes could prove shortsighted.

What are your concerns about ownership succession?

% of respondents

Identifying a successor 35%

Handling nonfamily key employees 32

Management training for family members 31

Family members within or outside business 28

Financing 28

Estate-tax problems 27

Employee morale 9

Note: multiple responses account for total percentage above 100%.

Source: "Survey of Small- and Middle-Market Businesses, 1992," Arthur Andersen's Enterprise Group and National Small Business United.




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