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U.S. Trust Insights On Wealth And Worth™ Finds Business Ownership Is Thriving, But Constrained By Taxes, Talent And Lack Of Planning

Business ownership at all ages is thriving as a new generation of young entrepreneurs inherits family wealth, including many of the businesses created by baby boomers, according to findings released today from U.S. Trust’s 2013 Insights on Wealth and Worth. The study of 200 U.S. high net worth business owners found generational differences in the motivation for owning a business but widespread agreement on the biggest challenge to future growth.

Key findings include:

  • The top reason business owners gave for wanting to start or own their own business is the desire to control their own destiny (60 percent).
  • Younger business owners (79 percent of Gen Y and 54 percent of Gen X) are notably more likely than those who are older (35 percent) to feel that business ownership empowers them to make a positive impact on society.
  • Business owners believe that by owning a business, they are more likely than people who work for someone else to be fulfilled in their work (72 percent), create significant wealth (67 percent), provide financial security for their family (66 percent) and create opportunities for others (58 percent).
  • Ninety-five percent of baby boomers are the first generation to own their business, compared to three-quarters of younger business owners. One-quarter (25 percent) of owners under the age of 49 represent the second- or third-generation owners of a family business.
  • The biggest challenge business owners cited in being able to grow their business is the impact of taxes.

“Business ownership is alive and well in the U.S. economy, and new innovation is fueling entrepreneurship that knows no age limits,” said Keith Banks, president of U.S. Trust. “Many of these owners have substantial personal assets invested in their business, therefore business costs and tax pressures are never far from their mind as they can carry significant and immediate implications to the owner, their business and the entire family's financial security.”

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