I have had an initial conversation with a business owner who is open to further discussion about the future of his business. He knows my partner and I are interested in buying his business, but he also made comments about the company being a generational company and having his children be involved in the future of the company.

To be upfront, I don't feel it's valuable to discuss the potential pitfalls at this point, because I understand there are many and we're still early in discussions. I'm viewing this from the perspective that the family members provide value to the company at their current level and would be beneficial to retain as employees.

I'm keeping the details slim to avoid getting bogged down. Looking for any experiences with sellers that had strong family ties and/or desire for family to continue to be involved in the growth of their company. How you have approached retaining family members of the previous owners? Employment contracts, rollover equity, other tools? What were some of the keys for messaging or communicating with the seller?