For many, owning a franchise opportunity is not only a path to business independence and success but the beginning of a family business as well. These ventures are more than an ordinary workplace - they are invested with emotional and sentimental value, which coupled with a significant amount of capital can make family succession a tricky and stressful matter.

When initially purchasing a franchise unit, what happens 10, 15 or 20 years down the line doesn't seem to be of the utmost importance, especially with the numerous day-to-day tasks involved with just getting the small business opportunity off the ground. However, it would behoove franchisees to take a moment to think about whether they want to keep the business in the family or eventually sell it.

If franchisees decide to go with the former, they should begin to plan now about how they want to retire and transition their company. There are numerous factors that can complicate this plan, such as having multiple adult children who are involved in the company and if they have the knowledge and expertise to succeed.

Most commonly, franchisees will decide to transfer ownership to the next generation. However, this only makes sense depending on two factors: if the kids are ready to be involved in the business, and if they have the interest to take it over, writes Dean Zuccarello for Franchising.com.

"Choosing a suitable and qualified successor proves to be a difficult task when more than one child is interested in taking over the company, or when a child lacks the necessary skill set to effectively manage the company on their own," explains Zuccarello.

"Additionally, parents may be unwilling to hand over the reins fearing a loss of status, or solely because they do not wish to retire at the time the kids are ready to take over the business," he adds.

Zuccarello suggests that franchisees ask themselves a number of questions to assess the transition situation, including what their needs and objectives are, what their children will do if they don't transfer the business, how they will manage their personal financial risk and if their children would actually be able to manage and grow the business without their assistance.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #1 in the tax franchise category of the 2011 Entrepreneur “Franchise 500”. Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes “Top 20 Franchises to Start.” Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!