The purpose of this study is to compare the performance of unlisted family and nonfamily small and medium-sized enterprises (SMFEs and non-SMFEs) and the effect of internationalization on their relative performance. Results of the regression analysis of 4,217 firms with 11,821 observations over a 3-year period found that SMFEs achieved a higher return on assets as a result of having a superior return on sales. Also, although the results indicate that internationalization had a significant negative effect on the return on assets of SMEs overall, this was not the case for SMFEs, and the results suggest that SMFEs perform better in the international marketplace. These results were consistent across different definitions of family business employed. Implications for future research are explored. © The Author(s) 2013.