Discover the Biggest Family-Run Businesses in the U.S.


• 5.5 million small businesses in the U.S. are family-run, employing 60 million people and generating $8.3 trillion in annual revenue

• Walmart, Ford Motor Company, Tyson Foods, Cargill, and Mars are prominent family-run businesses

• It’s important to have legal services on hand, define roles and responsibilities, stay committed and focused, and communicate when possible

• With the right attitude and dedication, any family-run business can succeed.

Seeing how others succeed inspires those starting or running a family business. In the United States, many successful businesses have been led by families for generations. Even though being a family-run business can create a unique set of challenges, family businesses have proven that they can grow and develop over time. Here are the most prominent family ran businesses in the U.S. and what you need to know about their success.

Family-Ran Businesses in the U.S.

It’s estimated that about 5.5 million small businesses in the U.S. are family ran. These businesses employ over 60 million people and generate $8.3 trillion annually. Here are the most prominent family ran businesses in the U.S.


One of the most recognized family-run businesses in the world, Walmart, was founded by Sam Walton in 1962, with most of the initial funding coming from his wife, Helen. Today, the company has over 11,000 stores worldwide and has a net worth of over $200 billion. With most Walmart family members serving on the board, the Walton family is considered one of the wealthiest families globally, with an estimated net worth of over $215 billion.

Pick up truck going off road


The Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford in 1903, is still family-run by Ford’s descendants. The Ford family owns around 40% of the voting shares but has stayed involved in the company’s operations. With its worldwide production and distribution of cars and trucks, the Ford Motor Company is worth around $30 billion.

Tyson Foods

Tyson Foods, known for its meat products, was founded in 1935 by John W. Tyson and is now run by the third generation. The Tyson family members own about 70% of the company’s voting power and are still involved in its operations. With over $40 billion in revenue and nearly 100,000 employees, Tyson Foods has become one of the largest meat producers globally.


Cargill is a global agriculture and food company founded in 1865 by William Wallace Cargill and is now run by the fourth and fifth generations of the Cargill-MacMillan family. With over 155,000 employees in 70 countries, Cargill is ranked as an international leader in agricultural commodities, food processing, and other industries. Its revenue stands at around $115 billion.


The Mars family company is known for its iconic products such as M&M’s, Skittles, and Snickers. Mars Inc. was founded by Franklin Clarence Mars in 1911 and is built on the core values of quality, responsibility, efficiency, and mutuality. Today, the company is still family-run and has over $37 billion in revenue and 130,000 employees worldwide.

Reasons Behind Their Success

There are some general reasons why these family-run businesses stood against the test of time. Here’s what you need to learn from each one of them.

Legal counseling at work

Have Legal Services on the Ready

Family disputes can often lead to legal battles. Divorces, inheritances, and other family issues can lead to tense situations. Having reliable family lawyers can make all the difference in dealing with challenging family situations. They can represent you in court and help you with the legal paperwork. It’s essential to have a team of professionals who are trusted and reliable.

Keep Family Roles Clearly Defined

A clear understanding of roles and responsibilities is key to a successful business. Family members should know their role and respect each other’s contribution to the business. This can help build trust and understanding amongst family members and ensure everyone works together for the same goal.

Stay Committed and Focused

Running a successful business requires dedication, hard work, and focus. Even though being part of a family-run business can be challenging, staying committed to your goals is important. Staying focused on the company’s long-term objectives and remaining dedicated to making it successful is key for any family-run business.

Communicate When You Can

Family businesses can’t afford to overlook the importance of communication. Regular conversations between family members can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that any potential disputes can be avoided. Creating a safe and open environment for dialogue is essential for any family-run business.

Family businesses have proven that they can stand the test of time with hard work and dedication. These are some of the most successful family-run companies in the U.S., offering insight into how to run a successful family business. Keeping legal services on hand and defining roles and responsibilities are all critical steps toward success. With the right strategies in place, any family-run business can find success. There must be bumps along the way, but having the right attitude and dedication will make all the difference.

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