How do I define my role in my daughter's business, that I will be funding?
My daughter wants to start her own business in a field in which she is not only certified, with 5 yrs. experience, a solid client list, but has some excellent ideas in which to grow the clientele. She has no credit, so my husband and I would be taking out the loan on her behalf. How do we ensure that we get our ROI? She has already asked me to help her with bill paying and such. I have read the posts about silent partners, but I'm unsure that is what I'll be.
Hi Cynthia - you could just get a loan agreement from your daughter to repay the amount you borrow plus the interest. Or you could make it a little bit more complicated and take a percentage of ownership in the business to cover your risk in borrowing that money. You should consider talking to an accountant and a lawyer about special ways the business can repay you with business profits. If its an issue, you should be able to do that without having a management say in the business operations. I know it sounds complicated and maybe even a little "cold" for me to say those things, but its actually not that uncommon of a practice. And it may be important to explore these things because I don't want to see another business venture affect the relationship of a family. It can be less of an issue if its all discussed before hand. Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way.
Hi Cynthia, Family is Family, however Business is Business.
Its great that you are keen to help your daughter.
There are a few missing parts.
a. What is the size of the load.
b. Can you underwrite to full financial exposure.
c. How much would need to be paid each month to service the load.
d. Can the business in its current form meet the repayments.
If not how much extra would you need to put in to keep the business afloat.
The thing is the business needs to be viable. you can't trade as an insolvent business.
Another consideration is. what additional assistance will your daughter need in terms of manpower and man hrs, in order to free her up to do what is needed to make the business grow.
Like any start up, it is always a great idea to put together a business plan and develop a business model for growth. look at the next 2-5 years. work out what is required to grow the business along with what is required to sustain the new growth volume.
As business are business you should look at this unemotionally, and ask questions like how is that going to happen.
BTW you should be prepared to accept a very low or even ZERO ROI for the first 1-2 years, unless the business is sustainable now, which is doubtful considering she is already asking you to pay for bills.
You are welcome to contact me should you want further advice.
Good luck. George.
There is nothing you can do to "ensure" you get a ROI nor even your principle. You are taking a leap of faith and potentially taking a risk of your own successful retirement to help her. Ok, that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it.
What Richard is suggesting helps make sure you get paid from profits. In addition to ownership you need the partnership agreement to spell out how you will get paid. As a financial advisor I always tell my clients to think of a loan to a child as gift as it is very possible you will not get paid back, no matter what their intentions are. I also run a financial plan for my client so they can see what the impact of such a loss of resources means to their retirement.
I probably should have started with, what size of loan are we talking about and what is its purpose. Is this money for her to survive during startup or are you funding capital costs for the business (do they have value). What will you do if she goes on vacation before you get paid back? Reach out directly if you would like to discuss more. (I cant embed my email here).
All the best for you and her either way,
Hello Cynthia. Do you really want to start business with your daughter?? My opinion that it is not good idea to have business with relatives.
If you really want than you need to do next - you should investigate the situation by yourself
1. The market - what is the volume (in $) and how many players are there.
2. What peoples wants and what they really consume.
3. market share. (services, prices, post sells, e.t.c.)
4. Finance -> Money in (cash flow) and Money out (expenses).
These all needs to understand what you really will get and how long it will take.
You might go to "google trends" and also use reports from department of statistic in your municipality to get the whole picture.
Solid client list that your daughter has - it is only list with names and phones. She or you need to check it again, cause peoples in the list might be had changed their minds.
I'm entrepreneur and clients behaviour is the most important, and ROI depends on it.
Once, you make it clear. Than, I thing, you might get understood how big loan you need. And then discuss with your daughter ways of partnering. You might cooperate as LLC where you will became as managing partner. Finally over here are many options.
Anyway, Good luck to you. Let me know if I can help you in future.
This is very risky. It's difficult to "loan" a child money. It often ruins family relationships -- because even though children say "loan", often it does not get paid back. This is doubly risky if you introduce the idea of "investing" or silent partnership. If you are taking out a loan - that you need to be paying back -- I do not recommend "investing" as a silent partner in your child's business. You may not get your "investment" back if the business doesn't work out -- BUT you still have to pay back the bank loan - all the same.
My recommendation is to treat this as a strict business loan with payback expectations (along with any interest you agree as your ROI - as well as timelines for payback). Have a signed contract with well-defined payment schedule AND consequences for defaulting on the loan. Avoid a payment schedule that states "payment due when business starts to make money" (or anything similar). Don't tie the payment schedule to her business success.... BUT consider her Business Plans and income forecasts when defining a tangible schedule with actual dates. (Even silent partners do their homework to verify that the Business Plan is solid and there is actually a reasonable expectation of ROI)
For instance - Require her to show you her Business Plan with income forecasts, budgets, expenses, and forecast revenues. Help her wth coming up a realistic Business plan. DO NOT TAKE OUT THE LOAN IN YOUR NAME until you see and approve of her detail business plan. Then create a calendar of payments based on her actual revenue forecasts. Review her company expense schedule to verify that what amount she can clear for the payment schedule. If this is a business transaction, approach it as a business transaction.
Also include consequences for not meeting those payment schedules (late fees, payment in other forms, payment extension with increased interest rates, etc).
For instance, if her business folds or she abandons the business - she still needs to meet the payment schedule BECAUSE you still need to pay back the loan (regardless). Iron out all the scenarios and exit strategies if things do not go as plan. Do you expect late-payment fees, etc. How many months of non-payment determines an abandonment - and what would the next step in that scenario. Do you want to hold any collaterial for payment, etc.
You will want to iron all these scenarios out and make the expectations clear up front. Do your homework to make sure this even makes sense. Or hire a business coach to help you with these decisions and help her with a realistic business plan.
If you don't want to approach this as a business transaction - then just agree to "gift" her the money with no expectations of ROI or repayment. And only give her money you can afford to lose (not get paid back).
The love of supportive parents is a great asset to any sibling that wishes to start a business. My reply is made up of 2 parts. First is the usual “Don't Do It” and lots of people have given you good reasons as to why. The second part is about how to do it, despite the advice!
Part 1 – Don't Do It!!
Family business is a romantic notion that can work in some cases and can backfire in others, like all other romantic ideas. As a parent that has helped both my children in their endeavours to set up their businesses, I would caution against financial commitment. As parents we are emotionally too close to them and hence may not ask the difficult questions they need to be asked. Failure of their business could not only cost you financially, but could also cost you your relationship with your daughter. My wife and I helped our children by supporting them in other ways than financial, and in fact we refused point blank to invest any money in either of their businesses (both our children set up their own businesses).
We did provide them (and still do) with free advice. We do this for our living so why not provide the benefit of our experience for free to our children. We even allowed one of them to live at home for 3 years at no cost so that he could set up his business without worrying about rent, utilities, etc. In the same vain, we are not bankers hence have no pretensions on understanding financial risk assessment involved in lending money to people. If banks are not willing to lend your daughter money, why would you?
Watching Children's failure is hard enough for parents, but you are adding financial costs on top of your potential heartache of seeing your daughter fail. 1 out of every 3 new businesses fail in their first 3 years, so there is a good chance you will be in this position. Incredibly 2 out of 3 businesses started by people who have failed in their first business become successful, so you have twice as much chances of success after your 1st failure. If you want ROI, I suggest you lend money to your daughter for her second business but not for this one!
Just to prove the above statistics, I set up my first business in 1988 based on a solid client list (I was the top sales person for 2 years in a row in a company with 120 sales people), my qualifications (I had a business degree), and I had 7 years of experience in sales and marketing (does this sound familiar?). Let me tell you that I failed!! I lost a lot of money (roughly $350k in today's money), we nearly lost our home but I learnt a lot of valuable lessons. I went back to being employed and in 2006 (once my children had left home) my wife and I started another business (actually it ended being 3 new businesses!). This time we have had incredible success. We have applied all the lessons we learnt from our failures as well as our experience gained in C-level positions in multinationals.
Part 2 – OK, if You Feel You Must!
If you still feel compelled to lend your daughter money, then as others have suggested, get her to write a business plan, cash flow forecast, etc. just like the bank would do. Then half the sales and double the costs, and see if the numbers add up (believe you me, halving the sales & doubling costs is optimistic!). If the numbers add up, then take a share in the business with a buyback option but the buyback option is not the repayment of the loan. The business should repay you monthly just as the bank would expect, so this is just your repayment (at low or zero interest if you wish). The buyback option is your ROI, so she can buy your shares at an agreed price (usually a multiple of profits or based on an independent valuation of the business). Of course if she is successful in 3 to 5 years time, she can easily borrow the money and buy you out.
This is the best deal any lender will offer her right now, and an investor would not even look at this no matter how brilliant her ideas are. Investors are looking for ROI (3-5 years), solid business plan, and solid market research, whilst looking for a seat on the board with some wanting control of voting shares (as against the shares of the company). It is not that easy to raise money for unproven business ideas.
I hope this helps and I wish you all a big success
When someone plans to start a business, one of the basics is business plan creation, legal and financial input from professionals, and thorough review of roles and responsibilities.
It sounds like you may have skipped all of these steps and went to agreeing to lend someone money with no written agreement. Not good.
This is basic, but you've disregarded all of it. Not good.
As a banker I question your capabilities if this is the type of questions you are asking a group of strangers and not your professional consultants.
I am the Community Manager for Business.com, so I see this question come up all the time. The Business.com team wanted to find the definitive answer for how to approach going into business with family. They shared their findings in a recent article, Tips for Keeping the Peace When Working with Family that I think you will find helpful.
Walking the line between both a professional and personal relationship can be difficult. My advice to you is to treat the loan for your daughter as you would a loan for a non-relative. Make sure you define the terms of the loan beforehand, and you both agree. Contributing money to the company would make you a shareholder. As a shareholder, you can decide how often you would like a report on the progression of business.
Believe it or not, many entrepreneurs will often do a 'friends and family' round first when seeking funding, before speaking to outside investors. So, I don't think it is out of the ordinary to invest in your daughter's business. The real challenge will be maintaining a work-life balance among your family. Good luck!
Starting a new business is not an easy endeavor and many businesses fail or do not meet their wished-for monetary projections. Businesses where friends and/or family members are providing the investment money are particularly tricky to navigate. I urge you and your husband to consult with a business law attorney to get formal documents in place that specifically identify your roles (if any) and your requirements for repayment of the loan (interest, payment schedule, etc.) Remember you and your husband would be the ones assuming the risk of repaying the loan. If you are nearing retirement and/or have limited financial resources (can you afford to NOT get repaid the full amount + at least the interest you are assuming for the loan from a third party?), then you need to consider 1) whether you want to invest at all; or 2) can you invest a lesser amount? Also, is this an equity investment or a straight loan or a combination. Will your daughter be setting up a business entity? If yes, who would the loan be to? If the business, will your daughter sign as a guarantor of the repayment due you and your husband? Conclusion - you need to treat this as a legal business relationship. Any business law attorney can tell of you situations where friends and family members no longer speak to each other and even sue each other because of problems arising with their joint business endeavors especially where relationships were not formalized from the get go. Running a business is not just about making money. Hopefully your daughter will understand that your "loan" relationship must necessarily be a business relationship. On another note, if she has been working for someone else, she may need to be careful in setting up a competing business and using a client list generated while employed. She needs to review any agreement she may have signed as a condition for employment. Remember you both have aligned objectives ==> the success of her new venture. Your requirements for establishing a formal business relationship would not lesson this objective and in fact may help her really develop as a savvy business person. Good luck to all of you!
A) If you are the one defining your role within your daughter's business; you are already starting on the wrong foot. (Sounds like it might be your business and you are giving your daughter a job. The CEO defines the roles.)
B) Your immediate role is financier, possibly shareholder.
C) To guarantee your ROI invest in government bonds or something secure. Start by accepting that any business is a risk.
D) As a shareholder/financier - establish how often and what type of financial reporting you expect. A timeline of when and how you will be paid back and what actions are to be taken if you are not. Also a safe bet is to agree not to intervene unless the business is in the negative for over X amount of weeks.
E) Most importantly if you are looking at a partnership not a silent partner role; be clear up front. Make it clear that there is a cost to your money and define what that cost is.
F) Your daughter may not like what you have to say (especially if you say all you have to say) but better a small argument before you start then a massive fall out month's in.