Maybe the kids aren't interested, or the parent doesn't want them to lead the family empire. Whatever the reason, there are times when a family needs an exit from the business they have built.
PwC's family business expert Ng Siew Quan told CNBC that about a third of Asian family business owners were considering selling the company because they could not find a successor or felt that a sale was a better solution than handing the businesses to their children.
The number of families in Asia looking to sell was higher that the average of family businesses polled globally - which came in at about 20 percent - in the 2014 survey, most likely due to shorter corporate lineages in Asia, Ng added.
And although there was an emotional attachment to family-run firms, numerous examples from Europe showed that letting go of a business at the right time could be beneficial, he said.
"People get too hung up about businesses not being passed onto next generation," Ng said.
"So long as wealth and value gets passed on to the next generation, that's good enough. There's no point being hung up on a business that's no longer relevant in today's world...What's important is that you accumulate wealth, you grow the wealth, and with the wealth, you do better things and most importantly you pass on the values from generation to generation."
There are three main exit options for family business owners, according to PwC's Ng and National University of Singapore's business school professor David Reed.