Family business board composition
It is considered a best practice to have both family and non-family members of the board of directors. Family members are important because they provide the context of the company's history and legacy. They also often fill key roles in the business and are owners, so it's appropriate for them to have representation on the board.
"Representation" is the key word, however, since it is unwise and impractical to have all family members on the board. Additionally, it is healthy to have more outside board members than family board members. Because they are not biased by family issues or the history of "how we have always done things," outside board members add significant value to the company.
The number of board members can vary depending on the size of the business, but in our experience, most boards have five to seven members. A smaller number raises the question of whether the company is getting adequate input. A board with more than seven members can be hard to manage and costly to administer.