The current focus in the public evaluation of state governments and administrations lies on the services provided to citizens. However, this does not comprise whether and to what extent federal states perform with respect to securing or improving the economic added value and whether they offer (family) businesses an attractive environment. The federal state index for family businesses would like to help draw public attention to this neglected dimension in order to raise awareness that state politicians also have a responsibility to ensure business-friendly location conditions in Germany. Such an index should help policy makers to identify possible “best practices” in the individual political approaches of the federal states and, thus, help to promote mutual federal learning between federal states.

The aim of this study is therefore to provide an index on the attractiveness of the general conditions for family businesses in the German federal states, evaluate it and make individual strengths and weaknesses of the states’ transparent to the public.