By FBA Legislative Advocate Dennis Albiani

The Family Business Association of California is committed to helping our state’s 1.4 million family-owned businesses survive and prosper. To do this more effectively, a common agreement and understanding of what constitutes a family business is necessary. The Family Business Association is taking on this challenge by sponsoring AB 2611, introduced on February 18 by Assembly Member Tom Daly, D-Anaheim (left).

AB 2611 sets out, for the first time in state statute, a definition of a family-owned business. A statutory definition of a family-owned business is important for California because a family-owned businesses is distinct in many ways — both in terms of successes and challenges. AB 2611 sets out that, to be deemed a family-owned businesses in statute, the business must be privately held; strategic influence is exercised by family members; the business must demonstrate continuity across generations; have its headquarters located in California; and have been in business for no less than 10 years.

A uniform clear definition will provide many benefits including one that can be referenced across codes in California including Tax and Government codes and it provides one definition that can be referenced by local municipalities that want to promote family-owned businesses within their local jurisdictions.

Under AB 2611, the definition of a family-owned business is proposed to be added to the statues covering the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) program. The successful GO-Biz program offers a range of services to business owners including attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. Importantly, AB 2611 will let California lead the nation in a positive direction by being the first state to statutorily define a family-owned business so that decision makers are able to better understand the unique challenges of operating community-based businesses when considering future legislative and regulatory actions.

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