According to the Small Business Administration, nearly 90 percent of the 21 million businesses in the United States are family-owned. Only 30 percent of family-run companies make it to the second generation, and it's estimated that no more than 15 percent make it to the third generation.Businesses don't make the generational leap on their own. In order to pass the baton of a business on to a younger generation, whether that means to the offspring of the owner, or to younger workers who will take over when current management is gone, there must be a succession plan in place to ensure a smooth transition.

"All companies need succession planning," said Brian C. Stautberg, a partner with Cassady Schiller & Associates, a Cincinnati-based CPA firm. "Especially small businesses."

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