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Family Charter: good family governance

​​​​​​​​​​A family charter is a unique document: it sets out how the family and the business interact. It is not an agreement but rather a document that sets out the basic premises, principles and vision of the family regarding its assets and the family business. The family charter forms the starting point for good family governance.

The importance of a family charter
The key purpose of a family charter is to preserve harmony in the family and to safeguard the continuity of the family business. As soon as the next generation comes on board, different views may arise. If several generations are involved in the family business, the risk of a generation or other conflict increases. Drawing up a family charter can help reduce the likelihood of disappointment and conflict by focusing on dialogue and transparency.

Drafting a family charter requires trust, openness and transparency. In this regard, AKD's specialists act as coaches, providing objective advice to achieve the right result. A family charter must be drawn up in good time, aligning individual objectives to the collective objective, in order to prevent potential conflicts.

The content of a family charter
A family charter does not have a standard format – its length depends on the topics that need to be addressed. A family charter can contain decisions on:

  • norms, values, culture and mission;
  • goals;
  • family members involved in the business and the terms applicable to them;
  • family members by marriage who are (or are not) involved in the business;
  • the family's control;
  • business succession;
  • differences of opinion/conflicts (mediation).


Once a family charter has been drawn up, other relevant documents such as wills and testaments and shareholder agreements should be brought in line with it.


Tailored tax, notarial and legal advice

AKD's specialists are available to assist you throughout the process of drawing up a family charter, from conducting talks with all family members to deciding the content of the charter. AKD will help you find solutions tailored to your tax, financial and legal requirements. Our unique team ensures that all relevant documents are in line with the charter. Contact one of our specialists for more information about family charters. 



Specialist Image LinkedIn

Ward Aerts

Lawyer, Partner

Insolvency & Restructuring