Current Research

Database Hamburgian Family Businesses

Academic knowledge evolving around the economic perfomance of companies is crucial for taking informed strategic decisions. However, there unfortunately is little data available - not to speak of data specific for family businesses. It is the proclaimed goal to solve the issue described and thus to supply reliable data for family businesses in particular. As such, the HIF developed the so called "Perfomance Benchmark". This benchmark basis on an analysis incorporating the asset-, revenue- and general financial-situation of family firms and their non-family Counterparts in the metropolitan area of Hamburg.The Analysis aims at providing a tool that allows for identfying a company's situation in the area with a wider perspective. As such, the HIF publishes a Status Quo just as well as key-indicators for related topics annually.

Coporate Governance In Family Businesses

Since the early 90's the interest in corproate goverance has increased significantly among society, reserach and business. However, the focus of attention rested for a long time upon listed companies. Nowadays an increasing amount of people highlight the importance of a good corporate goverance for family businesses. There are hundreds of studies and papers dealing with corporate governance but only comparatively few concern themselves with corporate governance in family businesses. Unfortunately, the existing empirical evidence from non-family businesses can not be conveyed to family business Research since family businesses differ to a large extend from their non-family counterparts. Therefore, subject of this reserach area is the analysis of existing research results and the modification and adjustments to family business specific needs. Additionally, the results may be used to advise politicians and legislators and form a solid foundation for further research.

Ascertainment of the need to adjust German tax law with regards to family businesses

The particular composition between family, assets and management or supervision within a company is characteristic for family businesses.
It gives rise to distinctive features in relation to how the tax law deals with activities between the family as a shareholder and / or employee of a company that varies to some degree from companies with a different shareholder structure. It shall be investigated whether or not the distinctiveness of the family business justifies the application of the general principles of taxation and what effect these may have. Here the question, whether the current tax law impedes or aids company goals like sustainability, innovation and financial independence from third parties also plays a part. Within the context of this research field it shall also be investigated how existing tax regulations, as for example § 35 EStG (deduction of the business tax on income tax), can be made use of by companies, what practical issues of application and execution exist with regards to the provision and whether or not the effect desired by the legislator is in fact achieved.


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