Family business

Supporting family businesses’s growth and sustainability

PwC Legal Middle East LLP is one of the few law firms in the region that has a dedicated legal practice aimed primarily at family-owned businesses. Our focus means that we are able to understand the unique challenges and concerns facing family businesses in the Middle East, giving us the opportunity to provide a focussed and tailored service to our clients. We leverage our extensive experience to help us understand what is best practice and can offer comparative analysis to clients who require an understanding of how other businesses operate locally and internationally. 

Being a part of the PwC network, we also work closely with other lines of service, including tax, risk assurance and deals to provide holistic solutions to our clients. This puts us in a position to be at the forefront of changes in the law, as we can navigate the impact of not just legal changes, but accounting and tax and how this impacts legal structures. We assist clients in being prepared for the evolving legal and regulatory landscape. Our range of services means that we can help from designing the legal framework, corporate structure and governance to implementation.

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Key considerations for family owned businesses :

Succession planning

 Families need to ensure that the right documentation, policies and structure is in place in the event of the death of the founder and to ensure that the sustainability of the family business is encouraged in the event of the exit of any shareholder. It is important that the business puts in place a framework to enhance the succession plan of the family. 

Dispute resolution

The transfer of ownership to the next generation has led, and will continue to lead, to family disputes if the right legal structure is not in place. Hence, governments in the GCC, and the UAE in specific, are introducing changes to the rules governing family owned businesses. We assist family businesses in putting in policies and frameworks in place to ensure disputes are avoided.

New developments and laws

With the introduction of the Abu Dhabi Family Business Law, the new companies law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the draft family business law in the UAE, families need to be aware of how these legal developments are likely to affect their current corporate structures. We work with families to ensure that family businesses’ structures take advantage of these legal developments

Corporate tax

The new corporate tax law to be introduced to the UAE is likely to affect the current corporate structures of family owned businesses in the region. It is imperative that family businesses conduct health checks to ensure that their structure works well to take into consideration this new tax.



We assess your current group structure and following discussions with you, provide alternative structuring options either in local or international jurisdictions. We work closely with our tax and international legal colleagues in light of your priorities to provide you options that best fit your objective and highlight the advantages and disadvantages of these options from a legal and regulatory perspective, as well as evaluating potential legal restrictions on the transfer of assets.

Legalisation of protocols

We work closely with our Risk Assurance team, to legalise protocols that the family have in place between the relevant family members and identify any key areas for optimisation. This includes drafting shareholders’ agreements and amending memorandums of association.


Governments in GCC are committed to maintain the success and continuity of family businesses which is key to sustainability and is at the core of our purpose. We advise governments on enhancements to the laws applicable to family businesses to solve the challenges that families and their businesses are facing.

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