We use the term family business when an enterprise
- is owned wholly or partly by one family, several families or family associations and the latter have a determining influence on the development of the company based on entrepreneurial responsibility.
- This responsibility of the business family or families is exercised by means of a management or supervisory function or both. The legal form and size of the company are irrelevant.
The transgenerational aspect is essential to a family business. For this reason, it is strictly speaking only correct to refer to a company as a family business if the family is planning to hand down the company to its next generation. Start-ups and owner-managed companies are therefore not yet family businesses in their own right.