A marriage made for business

Spouses have topped the rankings as the most trusted people to go into business with, according to research.

Half the UK population (50 per cent) would choose to go into business with their partner, compared to parents (17 per cent), friends (ten per cent), offspring (seven per cent) and siblings (six per cent), suggests the study from business insurer MORE TH>N BUSINESS and Warwick Business School.

Mike Bowman, head of the insurance firm, says: ‘Couples going into business together need to be very tough and be experts at separating work life from their family life. If the relationship breaks down then chances are the business will too.’

Stephen Roper, professor of enterprise at Warwick Business School, says: ‘The key factor in successful business partnerships is having different skills and personal attributes. The old saying that in love “opposites attract” is probably true of successful business partnerships.’

Adds Roper: ‘It’s quite concerning to see so few people are likely to enter into business with their siblings and offspring these days. One cannot help but wonder what the future holds for the survival of the traditional family business as we know it.’

Of the 7,000 people surveyed, just two per cent would start a business with existing colleagues.

Family firms account for 65 per cent or 3 million of the total 4.6 million private sector enterprises, estimates the Institute for Family Business.

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