Performance of family-owned businesses has been widely addressed in the context of developed countries. However, limited studies have been conducted in emerging economies. The purposes of this paper were to analyses the significant challenges facing the family businesses in Saudi Arabian marketplace and to look at corporate governance as one of the solutions to reform their issues and ensure their continuous for the following generations. To achieve this end, the research based on a critical analysis method that starts by discussing the definition of family-owned companies, then analysing their characteristics. A succession planning issue, management problems, protection of shareholders’ rights, and transparency requirements would be addressed. The key findings were that limited studies have been conducted in the context of emerging market economies although family ownership in emerging countries is common. Hence, any current evidence provides an insight into family businesses in the emerging economies, and Saudi Arabia is valuable.