The paper seeks to analyse family businesses in rural areas, family business strategies and re-registration of sole proprietors with the Centre of Registers and Information Systems (hereinafter Commercial Register) in 2009, and to provide an overview of entrepreneurship policies targeted at Estonian rural businesses. Layoffs have increased the number of unemployed; some of those who have lost employment opt for social assistance benefits, but some others decide to become entrepreneurs. Many enterprising people in Estonia have set up a family enterprise, mainly in the sphere of services, agriculture and tourism. The Estonian entrepreneurship policy supports enterprising people and approves of entrepreneurship as a promoter of national economic development. One of the most positive qualities of family enterprises is their short decision-making chain, which ensures rapid implementation of the strategy.