Research on the conjunction of business elites and sustainable development fascinates practitioners and international organizations but faces methodological and data collection challenges within academia. Firstly, studies on corporate sustainability have promptly increased but have been extremely focused on an organizational level of analysis, which inhibits figuring out whether business decisions have an impact at the macro or societal level. Secondly, major policy recommendations on sustainable development point to the creation of networks and partnerships among business elites, governments and civil organizations but it is largely ignored which specific type of network configuration goes along with sustainable development. Thirdly, the literature on sustainable development often considered business elites as homogenous and concentrated, even though conflicting views exist regarding aspects of sustainable development. Finally, the influence of business elites on environmental, social and economic policies has been more supposed than empirically demonstrated. Past research has been unable to overcome these challenges in part due to insufficient data clarifying the full breadth of business elite connections with political and civil organizations nationally and transnationally, and the lack of a combination of analytical tools for analyzing multilevel characteristics and actions. The present paper proposes a research agenda to comprehend the role of business elites in sustainable development. Future studies should use network analysis as leverage, uncover the networks among business and political elites, focus on Latin American economies and regions, bypass case studies and develop cross-national and transnational analysis, and turn to a combination of causal methods.