We address the challenges in understanding how family ownership shapes international business across institutional contexts in and beyond the Asia-Pacific, a region with diverse and often contradictory approaches to internationalization and family firms. We begin by introducing the topic and summarizing the papers in the special issue. We then develop a multi-level framework for understanding internationalization of family firms consisting of individual/family, family firm and institutional levels. We emphasize the importance of recognizing the complex and varying interrelationships between these levels. The paper concludes by setting out a research agenda for family firms and internationalization based on these three inter-related levels.