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Research has identified important differences between family businesses (FBs) and nonfamily businesses (NFBs). The difficulty, however, lies in explaining the reasons for those differences. In this article, Professors Miguel A. Gallo and Josep Tàpies, and Research Associate Kristin Cappuyns, all of IESE, International Business School, Barcelona, report the results of an investigation into the “peculiar financial logic” of FBs, based on a sample of 305 Spanish firms. After looking at some of the more general differences between the FBs and NFBs in the sample, in terms of company age, sales, employees, capital, and internationalization, the authors compare the financial ratios of the two types of companies. Generally speaking, the FBs are found to be older and to have lower sales, fewer employees, fewer full-time employees on permanent contracts, a smaller share capital, fewer shareholders, and a higher proportion of board members among the shareholders. However, when digging into the financial policies implemented in both types of companies, the differences found indicate that personal preferences concerning growth, risk, and ownership-control may be the driving forces behind the “peculiar financial logic” of FBs. The authors conclude that while many FBs outshine their NFB rivals in many respects, some of them lack a genuine long-term business policy or a commitment to growth and evolution. If the aversion to risk and loss of control is due to the manager-owner's personal apprehensions or ambitions, then that manager-owner is, wittingly or unwittingly, spoiling the company's chances of being able to compete in the future.