On our blog, we share news, opinions, and our vision on business mediation. This way, we stay sharp and informed, and we bring you along with us.

You have a great idea for a new business. What is better than executing this plan with people that know you for a long time, your sister, your brother, your friend or even your spouse. The decision to team up is easily made at the kitchen table and together you dream of your potential succes.

In this set-up, there is a promise of making a lot of money together, but also of loosing everything or making nothing. The latter is quite harsh in general business relations, but even so with people close to you, where the long-term relationship is at stake as well. Starting a company can be stressfull, especially with people involved that are close to you. It is like raising a child. No one prepares you how to do this.

We prefer to prepare the roof when the sun is still shining. Having a conversation (or two) up-front, before there are ‘holes in the roof’ and the damage is already done.


We have talked to quite a lot of start-ups with ‘family’ relations. What they had in common, is that they had the courage to address the vulnerability of their business relationship in an early stage. Together we had a true conversation about sensitive subjects like (in)equality in shares, salary, desciscionmaking, commitment, dedicated time, power and influence.

If these conversations do not take place, you might face a very ugly ‘divorce’ if you end up having a conflict because of the fact that you are closely related. Not only the business relationship is subject of the conflict, but also your personal, family relationship.

‘Raising the child’ comes down to being conscious about the entanglement of business and private life, taking the time to handle potential conflicts in an early stage and putting effort into keeping these relationships, like a marriage, healthy.

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De meeste conflicten zijn een uitnodiging om anders tegen zaken aan te kijken.