The family business

In the Netherlands, just over 275,000 family businesses are responsible for over 49% of employment and almost 53% of the gross national product. That is why family businesses form the backbone of the Dutch economy.

Family businesses distinguish themselves from other companies. Due to the interaction between the business, ownership and the family system. The strengths of this interaction are the long-term perspective, the involvement of a stable group of owners, the connection between family and personnel, the strong regional connection, the quick decision making and the solution oriented nature.

Family businesses also face challenges. It is harder for them to find a balance between the interests of the family, the company and the owners. But poor communication between family members, the likelihood of role conflicts, the transfer of the business and good governance all play a role as well.

A business that meets these 3 criteria is a family business:

  1. Over 50% of the business is owned by one family;
  2. One family has a decisive influence on the corporate strategy or on decisions concerning succession;
  3. A majority, or at least two members of the business management come from one family.

However, if the company was set up less than ten years ago, at least one family member of the director must be working in the company or have ownership.