Family Businesses in Australia – different and significant: why they shouldn’t be overlooked

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Family Businesses in Australia – different and significant: why they shouldn’t be overlooked

20 March 2013

© Commonwealth of Australia 2013
ISBN 978-1-74229-800-9

View the report as a single document - (PDF 2624KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Members of the Committee (PDF 58KB)
Duties of the Committee (PDF 60KB)
Abbreviations (PDF 7KB)
Executive summary (PDF 161KB)

A lack of a definition and official data
The contribution and mindset of family businesses
The challenges unique to family businesses
Family businesses and the Global Financial Crisis
Beginning the conversation within government

List of recommendations (PDF 42KB)
Chapter 1: Introduction (PDF 206KB)

The referral
Submissions to the inquiry
Public hearings
A brief historical context
Successful Australian family businesses
Family businesses and migrants
The Australian family farm
Structure of the report

Chapter 2: The challenge of defining 'family business' and the needs of policy makers (PDF 368KB)

The 2004–05 Business Characteristics Survey
Stakeholders' views on the need for a definition
Are family businesses mainly small and medium-sized enterprises?
Table 2.1: Businesses by size (employees)
Table 2.2: Businesses by size (turnover)
Possible definitions of a family business
Are sole traders family businesses?
The possibility or the intention to pass on the business
Should a definition include small and large family businesses?
Public policy reasons for a definition of family business
The committee's conclusions on an Australian definition of family business
Final comment

Chapter 3: The availability and reliability of information and statistics on family business (PDF 262KB)

A patchwork of surveys
Submitters' and witnesses' views on the availability and reliability of data
Committee view

Chapter 4: The characteristics and mindset of family businesses in Australia (PDF 306KB)

Key family business characteristics
A long-term mindset—causes and benefits
An aversion to risk
Flexible decision-making
Retaining staff
Community-based and community-oriented
Labour productivity, governance and performance
Final comment

Chapter 5: The challenge of succession (PDF 160KB)

Strategies to assist intergenerational business transfers
Barriers to managing succession
Growing expertise in succession management across the family business sector
Is succession necessary?
Committee view

Chapter 6: The role of family trusts (PDF 298KB)

Trading trusts — overview
Figure 6.1: The trust structure
Family trusts in Australia
Figure 6.2: Family trusts and the family group
Legislative issues
Issues relating to Division 7A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
Issues arising out of Division 6 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
Family trusts and capital gains tax
Family law property settlements
The rule against perpetuities

Chapter 7: Legislative and common law frameworks – further challenges affecting Australian family companies (PDF 351KB)

Section 113 of the Corporations Act 2001
Division 83A of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997

Chapter 8: The family business sector's access to finance and its response to the global financial crisis (PDF 226KB)

A family business or a small and medium enterprise?
Figure 8.1: Bank lending to business
Access to finance
Access to insurance
The family business sector's response to the global financial crisis

Chapter 9: Conclusion (PDF 93KB)

Representing and educating the sector

Appendix 1 (PDF 10KB)
Answers to questions on notice
Appendix 2: Public hearings and witnesses (PDF 14KB)

For further information contact:

Committee Secretary
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3583
Fax: +61 2 6277 5719