These are the US cities with the most family-owned businesses


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Family-owned businesses of all sizes help drive the U.S. economy, whether they’re mom-and-pop shops or Fortune 500 companies. They’re economic players in cities and states across the country, especially those west of the Mississippi. LendingTree researchers found that West Coast cities and western states dominate our list of the places with the most family-owned businesses.

To qualify as a family-owned business, two or more people from one family must have a majority stake in the business. Across the 50 metro areas that were analyzed, family-owned businesses represent about 29% of all firms.

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Tips for running a successful family business


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Merging family and business could lead to complex challenges and relationships among relatives. But with the right approach, you could make sure your family business endures through many generations. Here are a few tips to follow when running a family-owned business.

1. Set boundaries.

Consider keeping personal matters separate from work. Setting boundaries and ground rules could help you avoid discussing work at all hours, even at home. Maintaining this separation would also keep non-family employees from feeling left out of conversations.

2. Seek outside perspectives.

In addition to working with family members, considering hiring non-family help when it best suits the business. Lawyers or business consultants can be valuable third parties when it comes to creating business plans or drawing up documents.

3. Plan for the future.

Succession planning would be crucial if you expect to one day retire or leave the company. Determine who would be taking control of the family business when you step away, whether that be another family member or an outside party. You should also decide how the business would be valued and under what circumstances any shareholders may leave.

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To find the places and industries with the most family-owned businesses, LendingTree researchers analyzed 2016 data from the Census Bureau Survey of Entrepreneurs. Specifically, researchers compared the number of reported firms to the number of firms that reported being family owned. Family ownership is defined as two or more people from one family having a majority of ownership of the business.

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50. Buffalo, New York

Family-owned firms: 2,418

Total reporting firms: 13,053

Family-owned rate: 18.5%

Image Credit: iStock/Jacek_Sopotnicki.

49. New York

Family-owned firms: 54,450

Total reporting firms: 252,215

Family-owned rate: 21.6%

Image Credit: iStock/Chaay_Tee.

48. Boston

Family-owned firms: 12,068

Total reporting firms: 51,880

Family-owned rate: 23.3%

Image Credit: iStock/DArthurBrown.

47. Hartford, Connecticut

Family-owned firms: 2,891

Total reporting firms: 12,371

Family-owned rate: 23.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

46. Philadelphia

Family-owned firms: 14,849

Total reporting firms: 62,748

Family-owned rate: 23.7%

Image Credit: iStock/vichie81.

45. Washington, D.C.

Family-owned firms: 15,174

Total reporting firms: 63,849

Family-owned rate: 23.8%

Image Credit: iStock/rarrarorro.

44. Chicago

Family-owned firms: 27,757

Total reporting firms: 116,534

Family-owned rate: 23.8%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

43. Atlanta

Family-owned firms: 14,656

Total reporting firms: 61,308

Family-owned rate: 23.9%

Image Credit: iStock/lavin photography.

42. Richmond, Virginia

Family-owned firms: 3,423

Total reporting firms: 14,258

Family-owned rate: 24.0%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

41. Detroit

Family-owned firms: 11,375

Total reporting firms: 47,135

Family-owned rate: 24.1%

Image Credit: iStock/f11photo.

40. Miami

Family-owned firms: 20,428

Total reporting firms: 84,286

Family-owned rate: 24.2%

Image Credit: iStock/Demetrius Theune.

39. Cleveland

Family-owned firms: 6,010

Total reporting firms: 23,487

Family-owned rate: 25.6%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

38. Baltimore

Family-owned firms: 7,789

Total reporting firms: 30,175

Family-owned rate: 25.8%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

37. Minneapolis

Family-owned firms: 11,989

Total reporting firms: 45,869

Family-owned rate: 26.1%

Image Credit: iStock/RudyBalasko.

36. Raleigh, North Carolina

Family-owned firms: 4,071

Total reporting firms: 15,313

Family-owned rate: 26.6%

Image Credit: iStock/Kruck20.

35. Denver

Family-owned firms: 10,869

Total reporting firms: 40,634

Family-owned rate: 26.7%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

34. Birmingham, Alabama

Family-owned firms: 2,807

Total reporting firms: 10,438

Family-owned rate: 26.9%

Image Credit: iStock/SeanPavonePhoto.

33. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Family-owned firms: 4,652

Total reporting firms: 17,225

Family-owned rate: 27.0%

Image Credit: iStock/ABEMOS.

32. Pittsburgh

Family-owned firms: 7,114

Total reporting firms: 26,390

Family-owned rate: 27.0%

Image Credit: iStock/f11photo.

31. Providence, Rhode Island

Family-owned firms: 4,662

Total reporting firms: 17,043

Family-owned rate: 27.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

30. Columbus, Ohio

Family-owned firms: 4,693

Total reporting firms: 17,136

Family-owned rate: 27.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

29. Los Angeles

Family-owned firms: 48,538

Total reporting firms: 174,395

Family-owned rate: 27.8%

Image Credit: iStock/shalunts.

28. Las Vegas

Family-owned firms: 5,160

Total reporting firms: 18,491

Family-owned rate: 27.9%

Image Credit: iStock/f11photo.

27. San Francisco

Family-owned firms: 16,381

Total reporting firms: 58,187

Family-owned rate: 28.2%

Image Credit: iStock/bluejayphoto.

26. Indianapolis

Family-owned firms: 5,784

Total reporting firms: 20,529

Family-owned rate: 28.2%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

25. Memphis, Tennessee

Family-owned firms: 2,563

Total reporting firms: 9,021

Family-owned rate: 28.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

24. Jacksonville, Florida

Family-owned firms: 4,722

Total reporting firms: 16,644

Family-owned rate: 28.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

23. Tampa, Florida

Family-owned firms: 10,508

Total reporting firms: 36,648

Family-owned rate: 28.7%

Image Credit: iStock/Kasra Keighobady.

22. Cincinnati

Family-owned firms: 5,697

Total reporting firms: 19,701

Family-owned rate: 28.9%

Image Credit: iStock/Scott Meyer.

21. San Jose, California

Family-owned firms: 6,667

Total reporting firms: 22,387

Family-owned rate: 29.8%

Image Credit: iStock/GerardoBrucker.

20. Milwaukee

Family-owned firms: 5,456

Total reporting firms: 18,264

Family-owned rate: 29.9%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

19. Dallas

Family-owned firms: 20,157

Total reporting firms: 67,063

Family-owned rate: 30.1%

Image Credit: iStock/f11photo.

18. St. Louis

Family-owned firms: 9,568

Total reporting firms: 31,685

Family-owned rate: 30.2%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

17. Nashville, Tennessee

Family-owned firms: 5,209

Total reporting firms: 17,223

Family-owned rate: 30.2%

Image Credit: iStock/f11photo.

16. Charlotte, North Carolina

Family-owned firms: 8,227

Total reporting firms: 26,915

Family-owned rate: 30.6%

Image Credit: iStock/Kruck20.

15. Houston

Family-owned firms: 16,621

Total reporting firms: 53,826

Family-owned rate: 30.9%

Image Credit: iStock/:Sean Pavone.

14. San Diego

Family-owned firms: 12,442

Total reporting firms: 40,177

Family-owned rate: 31.0%

Image Credit: iStock/Jerry Uomala.

13. Austin, Texas

Family-owned firms: 6,705

Total reporting firms: 21,642

Family-owned rate: 31.0%

Image Credit: iStock/RoschetzkyIstockPhoto.

12. San Antonio

Family-owned firms: 5,689

Total reporting firms: 17,846

Family-owned rate: 31.9%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

11. New Orleans

Family-owned firms: 3,851

Total reporting firms: 12,076

Family-owned rate: 31.9%

Image Credit: iStock/:Sean Pavone.

10. Orlando, Florida

Family-owned firms: 9,052

Total reporting firms: 28,303

Family-owned rate: 32.0%

Image Credit: iStock/SeanPavonePhoto.

9. Louisville, Kentucky

Family-owned firms: 3,999

Total reporting firms: 12,516

Family-owned rate: 32.0%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

8. Salt Lake City

Family-owned firms: 5,191

Total reporting firms: 15,870

Family-owned rate: 32.7%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

7. Oklahoma City

Family-owned firms: 5,632

Total reporting firms: 16,843

Family-owned rate: 33.4%

Image Credit: iStock/Steve Johnson.

6. Kansas City, Missouri

Family-owned firms: 7,551

Total reporting firms: 22,557

Family-owned rate: 33.5%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

5. Portland, Oregon

Family-owned firms: 11,650

Total reporting firms: 34,149

Family-owned rate: 34.1%

Image Credit: iStock/Sean Pavone.

4. Seattle

Family-owned firms: 17,263

Total reporting firms: 49,577

Family-owned rate: 34.8%

Image Credit: iStock/aiisha5.

3. Riverside, California

Family-owned firms: 11,212

Total reporting firms: 31,509

Family-owned rate: 35.6%

Image Credit: iStock/MattGush.

2. Sacramento, California

Family-owned firms: 7,674

Total reporting firms: 20,983

Family-owned rate: 36.6%

Image Credit: iStock/Manny Chavez.

1. Phoenix

Family-owned firms: 15,016

Total reporting firms: 39,529

Family-owned rate: 38.0%

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