The guide to Family Participation Planning

Eliminate confusion and reduce conflict by clarifying how your family members join, navigate, and succeed in your family enterprise.

Get the Family Participation Plan Workbook→

Family Participation Plan Download


“I can’t overstate the importance of a family participation plan.  The process of creating ours and then our adherence to it has been instrumental to our success as an organization and the harmony of our family.”

~ Louie Gentine, CEO, Sargento Foods Inc.

It’s not always easy being family in a family enterprise.

However, the blessings of this responsibility can far outweigh the challenges if you and your family are intentional. With clear guidelines and open communication, you can ensure a multigenerational legacy that serves as a competitive advantage and rewards both your shareholders and stakeholders.

A Family Participation Plan will set you up for success.

It is developed and designed by your family and outlines how family members get a job in the business, how they are managed, measured, promoted, compensated, and ultimately, exit the business. Working through this workbook as a family not only leads to clear expectations, but can also create a springboard for having more meaningful discussions down the road.

Family business legacies aren’t born, they’re built.

Start building today.

What’s Included

This workbook is organized into three sections: Joining the Business, Succeeding in the Business, and Succession Planning. We provide questions, considerations, and guidance to help you create a living document that will serve as a guide for your family and your organization’s leadership.

Joining the Family Business

This section will help you establish protocol on whether you’ll create a role for a family member that is interested in joining the business and understand the implications.  Additionally, this section will help you define requirements that will prepare your family members for success and signal to stakeholders the importance your family places on being prepared to lead.

Succeeding in the Family Business

Use this section to define the journey a family member will take through your business, how they will be managed and measured, what success will look like, and how they will get promoted and paid.  Additionally, this section will address the intricacies of marriage, divorce, and how to address poor performance by a family member.

Succession Planning

This last section will give you the tools you need to consider family non-competes and the inevitable prospect of aging family leadership and how to transition leadership from one generation to the next.

The Benefits of a Family
Participation Plan

Hoping things will work out in the business and your family is not a strategy; what families need are sound objectives, clear expectations, and transparent governance. After completing the Workbook, you will have:


Designing your family’s Participation Plan is a collaborative effort, and an effort that requires input from all family stakeholders. This collaborative process is often a source of deep connection for family members as you envision the future and design a plan for the next generation.


By thinking through scenarios and designing a plan to accommodate life’s inevitable twists and turns, your Family Participation Plan will map out how family will operate as family, in your enterprise. This clarity will eliminate potential conflict as the rules of the game will be well established.


Not only will your family benefit from the plan, but your employees will too.  The plan addresses all those areas that can lead to nepotism, in-fighting, and favoritism. This transparency shows that you view the interests of the company and employees as equally important as the interests of your family.

About Josh

As the Founder of Family.Inc, a 3rd generation family business owner and board member, and an advisor to multigenerational families-in-business, I’m on a mission to create strong, healthy family businesses from the inside out.

The Family Participation Plan is a seminal document all family business owners need to have in place and it’s what has guided our family at Sargento Foods Inc. I’m sharing this tool not only because it’s critical to maintaining family harmony, but also because it is essential to great business operations.

I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact this tool has on family businesses and I’m confident it will produce the same results for you.

Josh Gentine, Founder

Get the Workbook

Family Participation Plan Download