There seems to be no shortage of myths about family busi­ness, but they all seem to start with one. This myth has been written and repeated so many times for so many years – by leading experts in the field, no less – that an alarming number of people accept it as fact. That myth is: Family busi­nesses com­prise 80% to 90% of all busi­ness enter­prises in North America.

This is a widely per­va­sive myth about family busi­ness and every time I read this “sta­tistic,” I roll my eyes. It’s just silly. Eighty to 90% of all busi­nesses in the United States are family busi­nesses? Eighty to 90%? It can’t be taken seri­ously. And yet it is.

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