During its entire lifecycle the Virtual Enterprise (VE) partners should share a sort of assets and sensible information as well as execute intra-and inter-organizational business processes in a coordinated and secure way, mostly supported via computer networks. VE partners are however independent enterprises and have their own business strategies. Therefore, it is relevant to properly govern a VE in way to minimize conflicts among its partners and hence the risks for achieving the VE goals. This paper presents a VE governance reference model allowing the instantiation of more concrete governance models for given VEs. An important contribution of this research is the consideration of the economic dimension of governance, not covered in related works.