List of legal entity types by country

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A business entity is an entity that is formed and administered as per corporate law [Note 1] in order to engage in business activities, charitable work, or other activities allowable. Most often, business entities are formed to sell a product or a service. There are many types of business entities defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability companies and other specifically permitted and labelled types of entities. The specific rules vary by country and by state or province. Some of these types are listed below, by country.

Contents

For guidance, approximate equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases, for example:

However, the regulations governing particular types of entities, even those described as roughly equivalent, differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When creating or restructuring a business, the legal responsibilities will depend on the type of business entity chosen. [1]

European Union and European Economic Area

Austria

See also help.gv.at (Austrian government site, in German)

Belgium

Dutch, French or German names may be used.

DutchFrenchApproximate explanation
private stichtingfondation privéePrivate foundation
stichting van openbaar nutfondation d'utilité publiquePublic foundation
economisch samenwerkingsverband (ESV)groupement d'intérêt économique (GIE)Economic interest grouping (joint venture)
stille handelsvennootschapsociété internecontractual joint venture (No JV company is created)
tijdelijke handelsvennootschapsociété momentanéeequity joint venture (JV company is created)
vereniging zonder winstoogmerk (VZW)association sans but lucratif (ASBL)German: Vereinigung ohne Gewinnerzielungsabsicht (VoG)
Nonprofit association
vereniging in deelnemingsociété en participation (SEP)Equity partnership
feitelijke verenigingsociété de faitDe facto partnership, partnership by estoppel
eenmanszaakentreprise individuelle Sole trader (UK), sole proprietorship (US)
vennootschap onder firma (VOF)société en nom collectif (SNC) General partnership
gewone commanditaire vennootschap (Comm. V.)société en commandite simple (SCS) Limited partnership
commanditaire vennootschap op aandelen (Comm. VA)société en commandite par actions (SCA)Publicly traded partnership
besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (BVBA)société privée à responsabilité limitée (SPRL)Private limited liability company
besloten vennootschap (BV)société responsabilité limitée (SRL)Private limited company
eenpersoons besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (EBVBA)société privée à responsabilité limitée unipersonnelle (SPRLU)single member limited company
naamloze vennootschap (NV) societé anonyme (SA) Public limited company (UK)
coöperatieve vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (CVBA)société coopérative à responsabilité limitée (SCRL)Limited liability cooperative
coöperatieve vennootschap met onbeperkte aansprakelijkheid (CVOA)société coopérative à responsabilité illimitée (SCRI)Unlimited liability cooperative

Following changes to the Code of Companies and Associations, the term "Private limited liability company" (BVBA/SPRL) automatically became "Private limited company" (BV/SRL), [3] [4] as a part of harmonising legal entity types within the European Union.

Bulgaria

Croatia

Types of legal person business entities: [5]

Types of natural person business entities:

Non-profit:

Cyprus

Czechia

Denmark

Estonia

Finland

General economic entities

The abbreviations are usually in Finnish, but Swedish names may also be used either as is or in combination with Finnish, e.g. Oy Yritys Ab.

Non-profit entities
For-profit entities of public law
Economic entities for special purpose
Real estate law corporations

In the corporations of real estate law, the ownership or membership may be vested either in the real property or in a legal or natural person, depending on the corporation type. In many cases, the membership or ownership of such corporation is obligatory for a person or property that fulfils the legal requirements for membership or wishes to engage in certain activities.

France

Germany

Greece

At most times usually companies would translate any of these designations into the French translation société anonyme or S.A. in non-Greek languages.

Hungary

In Hungary, business entities are mainly regulated by the Companies Act of 2006, [32] the Companies Registration Act of 2006 and the new Civil Code of 2013. [33] All companies are required to indicate their type in their name.

NameTypeNotes
e.v. (egyéni vállalkozó) sole trader must be a natural person
e.c. (egyéni cég)sole venturea company registered by and consisting of one sole trader
bt. (betéti társaság) limited partnership requires one general partner with unlimited liability and one or more members with limited liability
kkt. (közkereseti társaság) general partnership all members have unlimited liability
kft. (korlátolt felelősségű társaság) limited liability company company without stocks, the most common company type in Hungary [34]
kht. (közhasznú társaság) community interest company abolished in 2009, must operate as nonprofit company instead [35]
kv. (közös vállalat) joint venture abolished in 2006
rt. (részvénytársaság) joint-stock company replaced by Zrt. and Nyrt. in 2006
Nyrt. (nyilvánosan működő részvénytársaság) public limited company must be listed on a stock exchange
Zrt. (zártkörűen működő részvénytársaság) privately held company not listed on stock exchange, otherwise the same as Nyrt.
szöv. (szövetkezet) cooperative
egyesülésnational version of European Economic Interest Grouping

Iceland

NameApproximate equivalentNotes
ehf. einkahlutafélag Ltd. (UK)
  • Minimum capital: IKr  500,000 (£2,750; €3,260; $4,250).
  • Minimum shareholders: 1.
einstaklingsfyrirtæki sole proprietorship
hf. hlutafélag plc (UK)
  • Minimum capital: IKr  4,000,000 (£22,000; €26,100; $34,000).
  • Minimum shareholders: 2.
ohf. opinbert hlutafélag government-owned corporation
saf. samlagsfélag limited partnership
sv. samvinnufélag cooperative
sf. sameignarfélag general partnership
sfs. sjálfseignarstofnun non-profit organization
  • Minimum capital: IKr  1,000,000 (£5,500; €6,520; $8,500).

Ireland

The situation in Ireland is similar to the United Kingdom below, though without the class Community Interest Company. There were two forms of Company Limited by Guarantee, but only the form without a share capital is now used. Irish names may also be used, such as cpt (cuideachta phoibli theoranta) for plc, and Teo (Teoranta) for Ltd.

Italy

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

The Netherlands

All non-governmental legal entities are registered on the companies register of the chamber of commerce. [39] [40]

Norway

Poland

No universal definitions of company and business exist in the Polish law. The usage of the equivalent terms in the Polish legal system may often be confusing because each of them has several different definitions for various purposes.

Przedsiębiorca ('entrepreneur' or 'undertaking')—known as kupiec ('merchant') until 1964; jednostka gospodarcza ('economic unit') from 1964 to 1988; podmiot gospodarczy ('economic entity') from 1988 to 1997—is the closest equivalent of company understood as an entity. As of January 2021, there are at least thirteen different definitions of entrepreneur/undertaking, enshrined in the following acts:

Przedsiębiorstwo ('enterprise') is defined in the Civil Code as an organized complex of material and non-material components designated to perform economic activity. Therefore, it is equivalent to company understood as a set of assets organized to do business.

Działalność gospodarcza ('economic activity') is the closest equivalent of business. As of January 2021, there are at least six different definitions of economic activiy, enshrined in the following acts:

Entities registered as entrepreneurs in the Central Registration and Information on Business (Centralna Ewidencja i Informacja o Działalności Gospodarczej, CEIDG)

  • przedsiębiorca będący osobą fizyczną (an entrepreneur who is a natural person), previously known as osoba fizyczna wykonującą działalność gospodarczą or działalność gospodarcza osoby fizycznej or jednoosobowa działalność gospodarcza or kupiec jednoosobowysole proprietorship; [43] the company's name must include the first name and surname of the entrepreneur;
  • s.c. (spółka cywilna): "civil law partnership", itself neither a proper legal entity nor a juridical person, as it is the partners (natural persons) who retain their separate statuses as entrepreneurs and legal entities, albeit bound by an agreement on the sharing of profits, losses and ownership of a business (common pool of assets). An exception is limited exclusively to labor law matters, where the partnership may enter work contracts as an employer and has legal capacity. It is granted NIP and REGON numbers distinct from those belonging to the partners. Can be likened to a voluntary association. [44] ' the company's name must include the first names and surnames of the entrepreneurs;

Entities registered in the National Court Register (Krajowy Rejestr Sądowy, KRS)

Entities registered as entrepreneurs in the Register of Entrepreneurs (Rejestr przedsiębiorców), excluding the pan-EU forms

Except for the spółki osobowe (partnerships), all are juridical persons.

  • spółki handlowe commercial/trade partnerships and companies/corporations
    • spółki osobowe partnerships (entities lacking juridical personality)
      • sp.j. (spółka jawna): ≈ registered partnership, otherwise translated general partnership
      • sp.p. (spółka partnerska): ≈ professional partnership, otherwise translated limited liability partnership May also be denoted by the addition of i partner(zy) ("and partner(s)") to the firm's name. Can only be used for the purpose of practicing as a professional licensed by a regulatory body, in a profession listed in the appropriate provision of the Commercial Companies Code (e.g. physicians, barristers). The partners are fully liable for the partnership's debts, with the exception of debts incurred by other partners practicing their licensed profession and employees under their direction.
      • sp.k. (spółka komandytowa): ≈ limited partnership
      • S.K.A. (spółka komandytowo-akcyjna): limited joint-stock partnership, otherwise translated partnership limited by shares. Minimum share capital zl  50,000 (approx. €12,500).
    • spółki kapitałowe companies/corporations
      • S.A. (spółka akcyjna): ≈ joint-stock company, otherwise translated plc (UK). Minimum share capital zl 100,000 (approx. €25,000).
      • P.S.A. (prosta spółka akcyjna) = simple joint-stock company, otherwise translated simple plc, a new company type 2021, actually a simplified version of the former type
      • Sp. z o.o. (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum share capital zl  5,000 (approx. €1,250)
  • spółdzielnia: ≈ cooperative. May also be denoted by the adjective Spółdzielczy(-a/-e) in the firm's name. Some subtypes of cooperatives are governed by additional dedicated laws along the general cooperative law, these include spółdzielcza kasa oszczędnościowo-kredytowa (a credit union), bank spółdzielczy (a cooperative bank), spółdzielnia mieszkaniowa (a housing cooperative), rolnicza spółdzielnia produkcyjna (an agricultural production cooperative), spółdzielnia kółek rolniczych (a farming societies cooperative, providing agricultural services), and spółdzielnia pracy (a labor cooperative), including spółdzielnia socjalna (a social cooperative).
  • p.p. (przedsiębiorstwo państwowe): state undertakings or state enterprise
  • instytut badawczy: (government research institute, excluding those operated by the Polish Academy of Sciences),
  • instytut Sieci Badawczej Łukasiewicz (Łukasiewicz Research Network institute)
  • przedsiębiorstwo zagraniczne (foreign undertaking),
  • towarzystwo ubezpieczeń wzajemnych (mutual insurance society),
  • towarzystwo reasekuracji wzajemnej (mutual reinsurance society)
  • branches of foreign undertakings active on the territory of Poland,
  • main branches of foreign insurance undertakings,
  • main branches of foreign reinsurance undertakings
  • as well as any of the juridical persons registered in the Register of Associations, Other Social and Professional Organizations, Foundations and Independent Public Healthcare Institutions (see below) if they intend to perform business activities (when allowed by their bylaws, excluding Independent Public Healthcare Institutions, as they are not allowed to register as an entrepreneur, as well as excluding those of juridical persons or other legal entities who are registered in the KRS exclusively for the purpose of obtaining status of an officially recognized charity – public benefit organization, and would otherwise be exempt from the registration in the KRS – see below)

[45]

Entities registered in the Register of Associations, Other Social and Professional Organizations, Foundations and Independent Public Healthcare Institutions (Rejestr stowarzyszeń, innych organizacji społecznych i zawodowych, fundacji oraz samodzielnych publicznych zakładów opieki zdrowotnej)

All the following types are juridical persons:

  • fundacja  [ pl ] (foundation); Polish law currently envisages only public purpose foundations
  • stowarzyszenie rejestrowe (registered association)
  • związek stowarzyszeń (union of associations),
  • territorial branches of an association who have their own juridical personality (if allowed by the association's bylaws),
  • stowarzyszenie ogrodowe family garden association
  • związek stowarzyszeń ogrodowych (union of family garden associations),
  • stowarzyszenie kultury fizycznej (physical culture association)
  • związek sportowy (sport union = a union of physical culture associations),
  • polski związek sportowy (Polish sport union), a sui generis juridical person holding the authority of the officially recognized national sports governing body in disciplines which are managed by an IOC-recognized international federation (all Olympic and some established non-Olympic disciplines, but not the Paralympic ones, the latter obligated to operate under the general rules as unions of associations because of their non-commercial and often charitable character); each discipline is always governed by one such body only though some of the latter cover multiple disciplines; this highly regulated legal form may be described as based on a union of associations entrusted with the status of a national sports governing body on behalf of the respective international federation and the state authorities, thus exhibiting also some features of an official authority, but also of a company, as it is designated by law as the obligatory owner and trader of exclusive rights related to sponsorship, advertisement and broadcasting of national events and national team, and therefore, it is indirectly obligated (in practice in all cases) to register also as an entrepreneur; its incorporation is possible only through transforming an existing union of associations whose direct membership is composed exclusively of sports clubs active in a specific sport, as well as their subnational unions, or other juridical persons active in the particular discipline, and following the mandatory prior admission of such Union to the respective international federation, and subsequently, the mandatory consent of the minister responsible for sports before applying to the KRS; registration is synonymous with official recognition as the national governing body of a discipline and is coupled with a number of additional rights and obligations
  • związek zawodowy (trade union) as well as their federations and confederations, as well as territorial branches of a trade union who have their own juridical personality if allowed by the trade union's bylaws),
  • organizations of employers (and their unions, federations and confederations),
  • organizations of economic self government (chambers of industry and commerce, Polish Chamber of Commerce, guilds and chambers of craft, Polish Union of Craft, and chambers of agriculture),
  • organizations of professional self government of certain entrepreneurs (trade and services unions for entrepreneurs active in trade, gastronomy or services, excluding those acknowledged as craft or those exercising a profession governed by a regulatory college; transportation unions for entrepreneurs active in transportation; federations of the former two),
  • various types of agricultural unions (trade unions of individual farmers, farming societies and their unions, sectoral agricultural organisations and their unions)
  • samodzielny publiczny zakład opieki zdrowotnej (independent public healthcare institution) – a sui generis type of juridical persons, mandatory for the majority of public healthcare entities (hospitals, clinics etc.) established by the State Treasury, a territorial self-government unit, or a public higher education institution, except for entities operating as a trade partnership (a limited liability company or a joint-stock company, whose absolute majority of shares or stocks is held by the State Treasury, a territorial self government unit or a public higher education institution), or those operating as a budgetary unit, on behalf either of the State Treasury (including centers for forensic psychiatry, units of the State Sanitary Inspection, as well as some of the healthcare entities operated by a uniformed service, and a few addiction treatment centers and nursing homes operated directly by the Ministry of Health, mainly due to historical reasons) or of a self-government unit (all voivodeship centres for occupational medicine, a dozen communal rehabilitation centers or nursing homes, and three communal GP clinics).

In addition, any juridical persons or other legal entities (including those originally or otherwise exempt from the registration in the KRS – see below) also have to register, if they apply for and obtain the status of an officially recognized charity (organizacja pożytku publicznego = public benefit organization), when eligible; however, as an exception, registration solely for that purpose neither confers juridical personality to entities lacking one, nor does it create obligation or right to register as an entrepreneur. [46]

Entities excluded from registration as entrepreneurs

Types of entities excluded from registration as entrepreneurs include the following.

Natural persons
  • Działalność pozarejestrowa osoby fizycznej (non-registered activity of a natural person): unless explicitly stated in a sector-specific particular act, unregulated activity of a natural person is not considered “fully fledged” economic activity, thus being entitled to exemption from registration in the CEIDG, if the person has not performed business activities during the preceding 60 months and the monthly gross income generated by the activity does not exceed 50% of the minimum wage. Such activity is also free from the obligation to pay social insurance contributions, nevertheless, it is still subject to taxation and health insuranće contributions. Individual prostitution is in all cases excluded from registration, unregulated, untaxed and not subject to compulsory social or health insurance, whereas organised prostitution is illegal.
  • Kancelaria komornicza (an office of a judicial enforcement officer commonly known as bailiff) – a court bailiff is a public official (but not a civil servant) who is assigned to undertake enforcement action within the area of the jurisdiction of a single regional court; it is an individual who is appointed to act as such by the minister of justice on application of the person concerned, filed via the intermediary of the president of the court of appeal, within whose area the candidate intends to perform acts in enforcement proceedings. Before appointing, the minister of justice shall request the council of the chamber of the court bailiffs to give the opinion of the candidate. A bailiffs is not employed by the court in spite of acting on behalf of its authority, but is self-employed and operates an own single chancellery (named Bailiff's Office of the Regional Court in...), a quasi-undertaking excluded from registration as an entrepreneur in CEIDG, but treated as such for most other purposes, including income taxation or social and health insurance, obligated to obtain NIP and REGON numbers by registering in the respective registers, and is remunerated by percentage on money recovered and the other fees specified in The Court Bailiffs and Enforcement Act of 20 August 1997. The bailiff also incurs expenses, to be covered by the debtor or by the creditor if the enforcement proceedings are ineffective.
  • Biuro poselskie, senatorskie lub posła do Parlamentu Europejskiego (a constituency office of a Sejm deputy, a senator, or a member of European Parliament) – it is the elected official himself who personally acts as the employer of staff in the office, he/she uses own PESEL number instead of obtaining NIP for the purposes of paying employees′ income tax or health and social insurance contributions, but is obligated to obtain a REGON number for the office; the office is financed exclusively from funds assigned by the chancellery of the respective parliamentary chamber and may not perform economic activity
  • Gospodarstwo rolne rolnika indywidualnego (agricultural holding of an individual farmer): proper agricultural activity of an individual farmer animal husbandry; inland fisheries; plant production, including crop cultivation, vegetable farming, horticulture, orchard farming, fungiculture, seed production, plant nursery, forestry) is excluded from registration as entrepreneur (but a farmer is still obligated to obtain NIP and REGON numbers by registering in the respective registers, as well as to obtain in most cases registration in the Register of Producers, Agricultural Holdings and Applications for Payment Entitlements, the latter being obligatory for all holders of pigs, cattle, goats or sheep, and a prerequisite to receive any public state or EU funding). Proper agricultural activity is exempt from income and real estate taxes, being subject to much more lenient agricultural tax instead. Such farmer is obligated to pay agricultural social and health insurance contributions subsidized by the state, instead of paying much higher regular social and health insurance contributions. A farmer may also produce certain amount of liquid biofuels for own use, after registering in a dedicated Register of Farmers Producing Biofuels for Their Own Use, and in the Central Register of Excise Entities as a (token amount) excise taxpayer, but without the obligation to register as VAT taxpayer. Certain other types of individual farmer's economic activities performed on a limited scale (agri-tourism, direct-to-consumer sales of own products at the farm or at marketplaces, winemaking out of own crops) may also be performed without registering as an entrepreneur, unless he/she decides otherwise, and unless such income does not exceed certain limits; such farmer may also retain the right to participate in the preferentiaL agricultural social insurance system if he has been covered by it for at least three years preceding initiation of an additional activity and intends to continue proper agricultural production; however, land and buildings used for such additional activities are subject to standard real estate tax, instead of agricultural tax;
    • in case of agri-tourism or direct-to-consumer sales of own products at the farm or at marketplaces, the farmer may remain exempt from income tax and may choose whether or not to become a VAT taxpayer; in the case of agri-tourism, a limit of five rooms is also applicable;
    • in the case of winemaking, the production is subject to income tax, VAT and excise (albeit at preferential rates); an annual production volume quota of 10000 liters is also applicable);
  • Jednostka systemu oświaty prowadzona przez osobę fizyczną (a school or an educational institution other than a higher education institution, operated by a natural person)

Certain types of juridical persons or other collective legal entities which have been established otherwise than by registration in the KRS, may in few situations be authorized by law to perform business activity (sometimes of a limited scope and/or scale, along with their main, often non-commercial or not-for-profit activity), despite remaining excluded and exempt from the obligation to register in the KRS, but are still obligated (except for the State Treasury as a whole) to obtain NIP and REGON numbers by registering in the relevant registers, and are usually still subject to the general taxation rules (including VAT); examples of such situations include:

  • spółka wodna (a water corporation) – a not-for-profit water law corporation and a juridical person, incorporated to provide water services to its shareholders, usually in a rural or suburban setting, registered by the local starosta, while a union of such entities is registered by the voivode;
  • związek wałowy (a levee union) – a similar not-for-profit corporation and a juridical person, incorporated to construct and manage a levee, registered by the local starosta, while a union of such entities is registered by the voivode;
  • spółka dla zagospodarowania wspólnoty gruntowej (a common land management corporation) – a similar not-for-profit corporation and a juridical person, incorporated to manage common land, registered by the local starosta
  • fundacja rodzinna (a family foundation)
  • koło łowieckie (a hunting club) – a juridical person incorporated by its members to manage game on a certain territory (hunting circuit) leased from the state, legally allowed to perform business activities related to its statutory tasks; according to the Act on Hunting Law, it acquires juridical personality through registration by the respective district board of the Polski Związek Łowiecki (Polish Hunting Association, itself also a juridical person and a quango, actually a modified, highly regulated union of associations exempt from registration in the KRS)
  • koło gospodyń wiejskich (a rural women's association) and their unions – in accord with a dedicated act, they acquire juridical personality by registering in the National Register of the Rural Women's Associations maintained by the Agency for Modernisation and Restructuring of Agriculture
  • uczelnia (a higher education institution, regardless whether public or private) – may perform business activity organized as a separate part of its own juridical personality (or as a separate juridical person e.g. a limited liability partnership or a joint-stock partnership). According to the Act on Law on Higher Education and Science, a private institution may only be founded by a natural person or by a juridical person (other than a state or a self-governmental juridical person); it comes into existence through registration by the Minister of Science and Higher Education and acquires its own juridical personality which is distinct from the founding entity's one; however, a slightly different procedure concerns the private ecclesiastical institutions which acquire juridical personality in the same way as other juridical persons created by a church or an other confessional community (see below) but require the Ministry's approval to award state-recognised diplomas. On the other hand, a public institution is established through an act of Parliament or by a regulation of the Minister of Science and Higher Education, and therefore, its existence as a legal person does not depend on registration anywhere;
  • osoby prawne i jednostki organizacyjne nieposiadające osobowości prawnej utworzone przez kościół lub inną wspólnotę wyznaniową (juridical persons or legal entities lacking juridical personality which have been created by a church or an other confessional community recognized by the state) – they are established and (in the case of juridical persons) acquire juridical personality through a regulation of the minister competent for religious confessions, or (in the case of territorial or personal institutions of the Catholic Church in Poland) by notifying the Polish government by the relevant church authority, that an ecclesiastical juridical person (such as a parish or a diocese) or other legal entity has been established in accord with the canon law; such entities may be allowed to perform business activities by their bylaws, and are registered by the Ministry of Interior and Administration in the detailed part of the Register of Churches and Other Confessional Communities; exceptions include religious foundations and religious associations of lay people, both subject to standard KRS registration under general rules, albeit with some oversight authority awarded to a church or an other confessional community;
  • instytut naukowy Polskiej Akademii Nauk (a research institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences) – created as a juridical person by registration in the dedicated register maintained by the academy (itself also a juridical person and a quango – a regulated body combining features of a learned society with a statutory membership cap, a regulatory college and a corporation, itself also exempt from registration in the KRS),
  • partia polityczna (a political party) – it is created and becomes a juridical person through registration on the List of Political Parties. The list is not a part of the KRS and it is maintained by the District Court in Warsaw. Political parties in Poland are generally banned from performing economic activities; they may, however, perform certain minor activities, such as minor office services, selling promotional items with party logo, selling publications concerning its manifesto, its political agenda, its bylaws and its activities.
  • fundusz emerytalny (a pension fund) – either otwarty fundusz emerytalny (open pension fund), pracowniczy fundusz emerytalny (employees' pension fund) or dobrowolny fundusz emerytalny (voluntary pension fund) – it is created on permission of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and becomes a juridical person through registration in the Register of Pension Funds. The register is not a part of the KRS and it is maintained by the District Court in Warsaw.
  • fundusz inwestycyjny (an investment fund) – either fundusz inwestycyjny otwarty (open investment fund), specjalistyczny fundusz inwestycyjny otwarty (specialist open investment fund), or fundusz inwestycyjny zamknięty (closed investment fund); it is created on permission of the Polish Financial Supervision Authority and becomes a juridical person through registration in the Register of Investment Funds. The register is not a part of the KRS and it is maintained by the District Court in Warsaw.
  • jednostka doradztwa rolniczego (a farm advice unit) – a state juridical person established by the act on farm advice units
  • wojewódzki ośrodek ruchu drogowego (a voivodeship centre for road traffic) – a juridical person subordinate to the self-government of a voivodeship, responsible for conducting tests for driving licenses in all categories, tests for special traffic qualifications, as well as for traffic safety education and promotion; they are legally permitted to conduct not-for-profit economic activity;
  • park narodowy (a national park) — a state juridical person established by a regulation of the Council of Ministers, authorized by law to perform economic activity, unless it contravenes the Act on the Conservation of Nature,
  • wspólnota mieszkaniowa (a homeowner community) – a legal entity lacking juridical personality or a dedicated register, established ipso iure without any registration procedures in buildings or building complexes with at least one separate owner-occupancy delimited; such a community is required to obtain NIP and REGON and to maintain simplified accounting documentation and a bank account; also subject to company income tax, in contrast to the real estate tax which is paid directly by its members; may perform activities outside the scope of its obligatory core responsibilities, including activities related to lending out parts of common areas of the real estate, or parts of advertising-suitable surfaces such as siding or fencing, becoming in such situations a VAT taxpayer; a community in a building or a building complex with four or more separate owner-occupancies delimited is required to elect a managing board, or to select and contract a professional real-estate manager;
  • wspólnota gruntowa (a common land community) – a similar legal entity lacking juridical personality or a dedicated register, established ipso iure for the management of common land, unless a dedicated common land management partnership (a juridical person) has been incorporated instead (see above);
  • publiczna jednostka systemu oświaty (a public school or educational institution other than a higher education institution) – a legal entity lacking juridical personality, established and registered by an organ of the government or a territorial self-government unit
  • stowarzyszenie zwykłe (a common/simple/ordinary association) – registered by the local starosta, a legal entity lacking juridical personality, less formalized compared to a registered association (which is a juridical person registered in the KRS)
  • uczniowski klub sportowy (a schoolchildren's sport club) and inny niż uczniowski klub sportowy działający w formie stowarzyszenia, którego statut nie przewiduje prowadzenia działalności gospodarczej (sport club other than a schoolchildren's sport club which operates as an association whose bylaws do not foresee economic activity) – both are technically associations registered by a local starosta instead of the KRS, but nevertheless acquire as an exception juridical personality, though are not authorized to undertake economic activity
  • samorząd zawodu zaufania publicznego (a regulatory college), professional self-government institution, established as a juridical person by an act of Parliament (either as a whole or separately as a national body and territorial bodies, depending on profession),
  • państwowa lub samorządowa instytucja kultury (a state or a (territorial) self-governmental cultural institution) – a juridical person such as a museum, a theatre, a musical theatre, a ballet, an opera house, a philharmonica, a cameral or a symphony orchestra, a folk song and dance ensemble, an art gallery or a public library (created and registered by a minister or a territorial self-government unit) – even though the main (cultural/artistic) activity of a public cultural institution is not legally regarded as business activity, an institution may be allowed to perform additional business activity, if its bylaws state so;
  • jednostka samorządu terytorialnego: gmina, powiat, województwo (a territorial self-government unit: municipality=gmina, county=powiat), province=voivodeship) – a juridical person established by a regulation or (in the case of voivodeship) by an act of Parliament;
  • związek międzygminny, międzypowiatowy lub powiatowo-gminny (an inter-municipal, inter-county, or cross-category municipal-county union) – juridical person registered by the Minister of the Interior, incorporated to carry out specific services on behalf of member municipalities and/or counties);
  • bank państwowy (a state bank) – established as a juridical person by a regulation of the Council of Ministers (in the interwar period, by the President of the Republic; dominant type of banks during the times of communism; nowadays, this status is restricted to national development banks; only one exists as of 1 December 2020; the Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego;
  • Narodowy Bank Polski (National Bank of Poland) (established by the Constitution of Poland, granted juridical personality by the Act governing it)
  • kluby i koła – caucuses in the Sejm and the Senate (called clubs when grouping ≥15 members or circles if grouping 3–14 members) – legally they are quangos, entities lacking juridical personality, operating on behalf of the State Treasury, but may enter into work contracts as an employer, sue and be sued in a labour court, and are obligated to obtain NIP and REGON numbers by registering in the relevant registers
    • kluby i koła poselskie – clubs and circles of (Sejm) deputies
    • kluby i koła senatorskie – clubs and circles of senators
    • kluby i koła parlamentarne – parliamentary (joint cross-chamber) clubs and circles – of both (Sejm) deputies and senators
  • selected other state juridical persons e.g. civilian technical inspection units (Office of Technical Inspection, Transportation Technical Supervision), Polish Waters National Water Management Holding; Polish Air Navigation Agency, National Health Fund, Social Insurance Institution, State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons, National Fund of Environment Protection and voivodeship funds for environment protection, Polish Film Institute.
  • selected state (statio fisci) or self-governmental legal entities other than legal persons: budgetary units: e.g. State Forests National Forest Holding, Agricultural Social Insurance Fund, statistical offices and the Central Statistical Office, units of various state uniformed services, state inspections and their laboratories – operating on behalf of the State Treasury or the parent territorial self-government unit;
  • Skarb Państwa (the State Treasury) – the juridical person impersonating the state and its government apparatus (with some exceptions enumerated above), established by the Civil Code; itself, it is not assigned NIP and REGON numbers, as they are assigned to its organizational units (statio fisci)

Some of the abovementioned types of entities (e.g. hunting clubs, church entities), other than the state or self-governmental ones, may nevertheless be subject to registration in the KRS exclusively for the purpose of official recognition as a charity (public benefit organization – see above), if they are eligible for, apply for and obtain such.

Portugal

Romania

Societăți comerciale, abbreviated SC (Companies):

  1. Societăți de persoane(Unincorporated companies, also called Partnerships)
    • Societatea în nume colectiv, abbreviated SNC (General Partnership, abbreviated GP)
    • Societatea în comandită simplă, abbreviated SCS (Limited Partnership, abbreviated LP)
  2. Societăți de capitaluri(Incorporated companies, also called Corporations)
    • Societatea în comandită pe acțiuni, abbreviated SCA (Company Limited by Shares)
    • Societatea pe acțiuni, abbreviated SA (Joint-Stock Company)
  3. Societăți hibride (Hybrid companies)
    • Societate cu răspundere limitată , abbreviated SRL (Limited Liability Company)
    • Societatea cu răspundere limitată cu proprietar unic, abbreviated SRL cu proprietar unic
  1. S.A. (Societate pe Acţiuni): ≈ plc (UK)
  2. S.C.A. (societate în comandită pe acţiuni): limited partnership with shares
  3. S.C.S. (societate în comandită simplă): ≈ limited partnership
  4. S.N.C. (societate în nume colectiv): ≈ general partnership
  5. S.R.L. (societate cu răspundere limitată): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  6. PFA (persoana fizica autorizata): ≈ self-employed (UK) Sole Proprietorship (US)
  7. O.N.G. (Organizație Non-Guvernamentală): ≈ Non-state pension fund (literally: Non-Governmental Organization) — strictly speaking, ONGs do not exist in Romanian law, they are legally called either associations or foundations. [48] Political parties, trade unions and religious denominations/churches/temples/synagogues/mosques aren't considered ONGs. [48] And "privately managed pension funds" (legal term) are another matter than ONGs. [49]

limited liability company "societate cu raspundere limitata" (SRL); joint stock company "societate pe actiuni" (SA);

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Sweden

Albania

Foreign and domestic investors have a range of opportunities to organize their business in Albania. They can either establish and register a business organization or establish and register a branch or representative office. [54] The registration of foreign entities, since 1 September 2007, had been carried out at the National Registration Center, which aimed to implement the "one stop shop" system. Law No. 131/2015 dated 26 November 2015 [55] made possible the creation of the National Business Center (QKB), whose purpose was to simplify the procedures of doing business in the country by enabling registration and licensing procedures in a single institution. As a result, the National Registration Center and the National Licensing Center were abolished. [56]

Argentina

Australia

Belarus

Name in BelarusianName in RussianTypeNote
Адкрытае акцыянернае таварыства, ААТОткрытое акционерное общество, ОАОplc (UK), open
Закрытае акцыянернае таварыства, ЗАТЗакрытое акционерное общество, ЗАОplc (UK), closed
Індывідуальны прадпрымальнікИндивидуальный предприниматель sole proprietorship does not possess legal personality
Прыватнае унітарнае прадпрыемства, ПУПЧастное унитарное предприятие, ЧУП private unitary enterprise
Таварыства з абмежаванай адказнасцю, ТААОбщество с ограниченной ответственностью, ОООLtd. (UK)

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil

Brunei

There are three main types of business entity in Brunei, namely sole proprietorship, partnership and company. [63]

A private company contains the term "Sendirian Berhad", meaning "Private Limited" or "Sdn. Bhd." as part of its name; for a public company "Berhad" or "Bhd." is used. [64]

Cambodia

Canada

In Canada entities can be incorporated under either federal or provincial (or territorial) law.

The word or expression "Limited", Limitée, "Incorporated", Incorporée, "Corporation" or Société par actions de régime fédéral or the corresponding abbreviation "Ltd.", Ltée, "Inc.", "Corp." or S.A.R.F. forms part of the name of every entity incorporated under the Canada Business Corporations Act (R.S., 1985, c. C-44). ≈ Ltd. or Plc (UK)

As an exception, entities registered prior to 1985 may continue to be designated Société commerciale canadienne or by the abbreviation S.C.C.

Under the Canada Cooperatives Act (1998, c. 1), a co-operative must have the word "cooperative", "co-operative", "coop", "co-op", coopérative, "united" or "pool", or another grammatical form of any of those words, as part of its name.

Unlike in many other Western countries, Canadian businesses generally only have one form of incorporation available. Unlimited liability corporations can be formed in Alberta "AULC", British Columbia "BCULC" [65] and Nova Scotia "NSULC". The aforementioned unlimited liability corporations are generally not used as operating business structures, but are instead used to create favorable tax positions for either Americans investing in Canada or vice versa. [66] For U.S. tax purposes the ULC is classified as a disregarded entity.

Rather, Canadian businesses are generally formed under one of the following structures:

Chile

China

Companies include two types,

Other than companies, ordinary firms include other two types: (See also Partnership (China))

Colombia

Costa Rica

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Egypt

Ethiopia

Ghana

[71]

Guatemala

NameApproximate equivalentNotes
y Cía. S. C. (Sociedad Colectiva) General partnership
y Cía. S. en C. (Sociedad en Comandita Simple)
Cía. Ltda. (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada) Limited Liability Company
S. A. (Sociedad Anónima) Limited company
Cía. S. C. A (Sociedad en Comandita por Acciones)

Haiti

Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Most of the legal entity types are regulated in a modified version of the original version of the Dutch Burgerlijk Wetboek .

Iran

Israel

Japan

Business corporations are referred to as kaisha (会社) and are formed under the Companies Act of 2005. There are currently (2015) 4 types and each of them has legal personality:

Partnerships are referred to as kumiai (組合). Each of these 4 types has no legal personality though other corporations, which include "kumiai" in their name, have:

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Korea, South

Kosovo

[76]

Lebanon

  1. S.N.C.(Société en Nom Collectif): General partnership
  2. S.C.S.(Société en Commandite Simple): Partnership in commendam

Malaysia

Mexico

Business entities according to the "Ley General de Sociedades Mercantiles" (General Law of Business entities)

Note: Any of these entities can be incorporated as a "Capital Variable" entity, in which case has to add the "de C.V." sufix to its company name. Example: "S.A. de C.V.", "S. de R.L. de C.V."

Business entities according to the "Ley del Mercado de Valores" (Stock Market Law)

Monaco

Mongolia

Montenegro

one of above mentioned form (Preduzetnik; O.D.; K.D.; A.D.; D.O.O.), as such it is registered in the Central Register of Companies. This form is a little bit specific and was created for companies that are domiciled registered in other countries and have its part in Montenegro.

Morocco

Namibia

Nepal

New Zealand

Nicaragua

The Commercial Code establishes the following types of companies:

Nigeria

North Macedonia

Oman

Pakistan

There are three main forms of business:

(a) Sole Proprietorship (b) Partnership (c) Company

In a sole proprietorship, an individual on his/her own account carries out the business or profession. No formal procedure or formality is required for setting up a sole proprietary concern.

A partnership is a business relationship entered into by a formal agreement between two or more persons or corporations carrying on a business in common. The capital for a partnership is provided by the partners who are liable for the total debts of the firms and who share the profits and losses of the business concern according to the terms of the partnership agreement.

Partnerships (other than banking companies) are generally limited in size to twenty partners. The interest of a partner is transferable only with the prior consent of the other partner(s). However, a partner's right to a share of the partnership income may be received in trust for another person.

For taxation purposes, partnerships are classified into:

(i) Registered Firms (ii) Unregistered Firms

The income of the registered firm is subject to Super Tax before distribution to the partners. Also the individual income of the partners is subject to income tax at the usual rates.

For unregistered firms, income tax is levied on the firm's income and the partners are not liable to pay tax on the shares of profit received from the unregistered firm(s).

A company is a legal entity formed under the Companies Ordinance, 1984. It can have share capital or can be formed without share capital.

A company having share capital may be formed as:

(i) A company limited by shares. (ii) A company limited by guarantee. (iii) An unlimited company.

The liability of its members is limited to the extent of their shares in the paid-up capital of the company. These companies may further be classified as public limited and private limited companies.

(i) Restricts the right to transfer its shares; (ii) Limits the number of its members to fifty; and; (iii) Prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe for shares or debentures of the company.

A private limited company is required to use the words "(Private) Limited" as the last words of its name.

Means a company having the liability of its members limited by memorandum to such amounts as the members may respectively undertake to contribute to the capital of the company in the event of its winding up. A company limited by guarantee is usually formed on a 'non profit basis'. Companies limited by guarantee use the words (Guarantee) Limited" as the last words of their n Unlimited Company

Means a company having unlimited liability of its members [79]

Peru

Philippines

All legal entities in the Philippines, including the recently approved one-person corporation (OPC), are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Russia

According to the Civil Code of Russian Federation the following corporate entities may be created: [85] :Part 1

State companies

Joint-stock companies

Joint-stock companies: [85] :Part 1

Partnerships

These are less common:

Saudi Arabia

Serbia

Singapore

Private Limited Company, Sole Proprietorship and Partnership are the predominant types of business found in Singapore. [86]

South Africa

Switzerland

AG (Aktiengesellschaft) SA (Société anonyme) SA (Società anonima)plc (UK) or Inc. (US). Min. share capital SFr  100,000. Bearer or registered shares, of a par value of min. SFr 0.01 each. Details of shareholders generally not publicly available (except for main shareholders and management shares of publicly listed companies).
GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) Sàrl (Société à responsabilité limitée)Sagl (Società a garanzia limitata)Ltd. (UK), LLC (US). Min. capital SFr  20,000. Registered shares only, of a par value of min. SFr 100 each. Name, address and share of each owner (and any changes) publicly recorded in the Official Register of Commerce. [88]

Taiwan (Republic of China)

Thailand

Turkey

According to Code of Obligations (fifth book of Civil Code) (Act No: 6098):

According to the Commercial Code (Act No: 6102):

Şahıs şirketleri ≈ Partnerships (Unlike the partnerships in Anglo-American law, they also have legal personality like companies)

Sermaye şirketleri ≈ Companies

According to the Capital Markets Act (Act No: 6362):

According to the Cooperatives Act (Act No: 1136):

Other entitites:

Tunisia

Ukraine

Company formation is regulated by the Ukrainian Civil Code [92] and Commercial Code, [93] Law On Business Associations, [94] Law On Joint Stock Companies, [95] Law On Limited Liability Companies and Additional Liability Companies. [96]

United Arab Emirates

In UAE Free Zones, a Free Zone Establishment (FZE) or Free Zone Company (FZC) is a limited liability company governed by the rules and regulations of the relevant zone in which it is established. [97]

United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, most legal entities are incorporated under the law of a particular state. [100] The federal government does not generally incorporate entities (the verb "charter" is used instead), with a few narrow exceptions, either government-sponsored corporations or government-owned corporations.

Those entities existing on the state level have two separate identities: their legal entity type, e.g., partnership, corporation, or LLC, and their tax classification, what they are regarded as for federal income tax purposes. A further way to classify an entity is whether it is a for-profit or nonprofit enterprise, each classification with its own taxonomy and implications on federal income tax law. For-profit entities exist for the purpose of producing a profit for their owners whereas nonprofits exist for any purpose other than profit. [101]

Tax classifications

For federal tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service has separate entity classification rules, generally depending on whether an entity is a for-profit or non-profit organization. For-profit entities can be collectively regarded as "taxable organizations" while nonprofit entities are collectively regarded as "tax-exempt organizations" or simply "exempt organizations."

Taxable Organizations

Under the Internal Revenue Code, a for-profit entity may be classified as a corporation, a partnership, a cooperative or a disregarded entity. A corporation is taxed as a C corporation unless it elects and meets the requirements to be taxed as an S Corporation. A disregarded entity has one owner (or a married couple as owner) that is not recognized for tax purposes as an entity separate from its owner, so the owner is taxed on the individual level. Types of disregarded entities include single-member LLCs; qualified sub-chapter S subsidiaries and qualified real estate investment trust subsidiaries. A disregarded entity's transparent tax status does not affect its status under state law. For example, for federal tax purposes, a sole-member LLC (SMLLC) is disregarded, so that all its assets and liabilities are treated as owned by its single member. But under state law, an SMLLC can contract in its own name and its owner is generally not personally liable for the debts and obligations of the entity. [102] To be recognized as a Cooperative for tax purposes Cooperatives must follow certain rules under Sub Chapter T of the Internal Revenue Code. [103]

Tax Exempt Organizations

Nonprofit organizations on the state level are exempt from federal income taxation for most types of income. There are two main types of tax exempt organizations under the Internal Revenue Code: 501(c) organizations and 527 organizations. Tax exemption has two components: exemption from income taxation and the allowance of a deduction on the tax returns of donors.

Section 501(c) encompasses most types of nonprofit entities other than ones engaged substantially in political activity. There are 29 subtypes of 501(c) organizations. For example, section 501(c)(10) includes "domestic fraternal societies, orders, or associations, operating under the lodge system," while section 501(c)(6) includes "business leagues, chambers of commerce, real-estate boards, boards of trade, or professional football leagues" under certain circumstances. The most prevalent type of 501(c)s are 501(c)(3) organizations, known broadly as "charitable organizations," those whose purpose is charitable (i.e., relief from poverty), educational, scientific, religious, or advocatory, among others, as long as such organization does not engage in substantial political activity or inure the benefit of net earnings to shareholders or other individuals. This is the preferred tax status because it is the only 501(c) that obtains both income tax exemption and tax deductible donations. All other 501(c) types only obtain tax exemption. [104] Section 501(c)(3)s can be further divided into private foundations, public charities, and private operating foundations with private foundations given the least favorable deductibility rate. [105] State-level unincorporated nonprofit associations, charitable trusts, and nonprofit corporations may fall into any one of the 501(c) categories depending on their purpose and the activities they engage in.

Section 527 organizations, also called "political organizations," are any nonprofit substantially engaged in "political activity," such as election campaigning or lobbying. These are organizations like political parties and election campaign committees, which are often called political action committees (PACs) or Super-PACs. These organizations are subject to more stringent regulations than 501(c) organizations and only receive tax exemption; donations to 527s are not deductible. Any type of nonprofit entity existing on the state level will be regarded as a 527 if it substantially engages in political activity.

Federally chartered

Of the few types of companies that may exist under a federally issued charter, the bulk are banks, credit unions, and similar depository institutions. Such institutions are distinguished from state-chartered banks by including a key word in their formal names. For a bank, the key word is "national". A bank chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) must have the word "national" in its name. A bank chartered by a state cannot have "national" in its name.

For a savings bank (formerly called a savings and loan association) or credit union, the key word is "federal", and the same rules apply; a federally chartered savings bank or credit union must have the word "federal" in its name, while a state chartered savings bank or credit union cannot have "federal" in its name.

Many federal governmental units are specially formed public corporations (which, for tax purposes are also generally 501(c)(1) organizations) and government-sponsored enterprises, while some private organizations have received a Congressional charter.

State, territory or commonwealth; unincorporated

The following are the entity structures that can be created without licensure by the government, or in other words are "unincorporated":

Trusts

  • Trust : a legal relationship wherein one person (a "settlor") grants another property to another (a "trustee") for the benefit of a single or limited amount of third-parties ("beneficiaries").
  • Charitable trust : a trust wherein the beneficiary is the general public.

Partnerships

  • General partnership : an association of two or more persons for the purpose of producing a profit for the members of the partnership (called "general partners" or simply "partners"). All partners jointly and separately liable for the debts of the partnership. In most U.S. states, it can be created by agreement without requiring a public filing or any written agreement, as long as all parties must have an intend to establish a business relationship with one another. The partners may themselves be individuals or legal entities (in which case it is generally called a joint venture).

To determine whether a general partnership exists courts analyze a few factors: (1) intention of the parties, (2) sharing of profits and losses (3) joint administration and control of business operation, (4) capital investment by each partner, and (5) common ownership of property. [106]

Unincorporated Associations

  • Unincorporated nonprofit association : an association of two or more persons for the purpose of accomplishing a common goal other than profit; this is the nonprofit equivalent to general partnerships.

State, territory or commonwealth; incorporated

Partnerships

  • Limited partnership (LP): a partnership where at least one partner (the general partner, which may itself be an entity or an individual) has unlimited liability for the LP's debts and one or more partners (the limited partners) have limited liability (which means that they are not responsible for the LP's debts beyond the amount they agreed to invest). Limited partners generally do not participate in the management of the entity or its business.
  • Limited liability partnership (LLP): a partnership where a partner's liability for the debts of the partnership is limited except in the case of liability for acts of professional negligence or malpractice. In some states, LLPs may only be formed for purposes of practicing a licensed profession, typically attorneys, accountants and architects. This is often the only form of limited partnership allowed for law firms (as opposed to general partnerships).
  • Limited liability limited partnership (LLLP): a combination of LP and LLP, available in some states.

Limited Liability Companies

  • Limited liability company (LLC, LC, Ltd., or Co.): a form of business whose owners enjoy limited liability, but which is not a corporation. Allowable abbreviations vary by state. Note that in some states Ltd. by itself is not a valid abbreviation for an LLC, because in some states (e.g. Texas), it may denote a corporation instead. See also Series LLC. For U.S. federal tax purposes, in general, an LLC with two or more members is treated as a partnership, and an LLC with one member is treated as a sole proprietorship.
  • Professional limited liability company (PLLC): some states do not allow certain professionals to form an LLC that would limit the liability that results from the services professionals provide such as doctors, medical care; lawyers, legal advice; and accountants, accounting services; architects, architectural services; when the company formed offers the services of the professionals. Instead those states allow a PLLC or in the LLC statutes, the liability limitation only applies to the business side, such as creditors of the company, as opposed to the client/customer service side, the level of medical care, legal services, or accounting provided to clients. This is meant to maintain the higher ethical standards that these professionals have committed themselves to by becoming licensed in their profession and to prevent them from being immune (or at least limit their immunity) to malpractice suits.
  • Low-profit limited liability company (L3C): a hybrid for-profit and nonprofit entity available in some states. It is an LLC that is allowed to have a primary nonprofit purpose, and a secondary for-profit purpose.

Corporations

For-profit
  • Corporation (Corp., Inc., or Incorporated): a legal entity that is owned by shareholders and managed by directors and officers, all of which enjoy limited liability. A corporation can be a public or private company. In some states other suffixes may be used to identify a corporation, such as Ltd., Co./Company, or the Italian term S.p.A. (in Connecticut; see under Italy). Some states that allow the use of "Company" prohibit the use of "and Company", "and Co.", "& Company" or "& Co.". In most states sole proprietorships and partnerships may register a fictitious "doing business as" name with the word "Company" in it. For a full list of allowed designations by state, see the table below.
  • Benefit corporation (PBC): a for-profit corporation that includes positive impact on society, workers, the community, and the environment in addition to profit as its legally defined goals, in that the definition of "best interest of the corporation" is specified to include those impacts. Some states require the corporation to have "Public Benefit Corporation" or "PBC" in its name (or a similar designation), while others allow any prefix allowed by a corporation (such as Corp. or Inc.), but require that shareholders, investors, and other parties be informed that the company is a public benefit corporation.
  • Professional corporation (PC or P.C.): those corporate entities for which many corporation statutes make special provision, regulating the use of the corporate form by licensed professionals such as attorneys, architects, accountants, and doctors.
Nonprofit

Cooperatives

Other

  • Doing Business As (DBA or Fictitious Name): a business name used by a person or entity that is different from the person's or entity's true legal name. DBAs are not separate entities and do not shield the person or entity who uses the DBA as a business name from liability for debts or lawsuits. Filing requirements vary and are not permitted for some types of businesses or professional practices.

Table of Required designations for for-profit corporations, by U.S. state, territory or commonwealth

Required designations for corporations, by U.S. state, territory or commonwealth:
State, territory or commonwealthRequired in corporation nameAuthority
Alabama "corporation", or "incorporated", or an abbreviation of one of such words, or if a banking corporation the words "bank", "banking", or "bankers"§ 10-2B-4.01(a)(1) Code of Alabama 1975
Alaska "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of these words; may not contain the word "city", "borough", or "village" or otherwise imply that the corporation is a municipality.§ 10.06.105 (a) and (b), Alaska Corporations Code
Arizona "association", "bank", "company", "corporation", "limited" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of one of these words or the equivalent in a foreign language. Corporation may not use "bank", "deposit", "credit union", "trust" or "trust company" unless it also has a license to operate one. May not use "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C.", "L.C.", "LLC", or "LC"§ 10-401 Arizona Revised Statutes
Arkansas "Corporation", "Company", or "Incorporated", "Limited" or shall contain an abbreviation of one of those words; but the name may not end with the word "Company" nor the abbreviation "Co." if the final word or abbreviation is immediately preceded by "and" or any symbol for "and"§ 4-26-401 (1), Arkansas Code
California "corporation", "incorporated" or "limited" or an abbreviation of one of such words is required and for a statutory close corporations for corporate provisions to apply. May not contain "bank", "trust", "trustee" or "credit union" unless approved by the Commissioner of Financial Institutions.§ 202(a), California Corporations Code
Colorado "corporation", "incorporated", "company", "limited", "corp.", "inc.", "co." or "ltd"; If the corporation is a professional corporation, it must contain the term or abbreviation "professional corporation", "p.c.", or "pc".§ 7-90-601, Colorado Revised Statutes
Connecticut "corporation", "incorporated", "company", "Societa per Azioni" or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", "S.p.A." or "ltd."§ 33-655 General Statutes of Connecticut
Delaware "association", "company", "corporation", "club", "foundation", "fund", "incorporated", "institute", "society", "union", "syndicate", or "limited", (or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation), or words (or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuation) of like import of foreign countries or jurisdictions (provided they are written in Roman characters or letters)Title 8, § 102, Delaware Code
District of Columbia "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or shall contain an abbreviation of 1 of such words§ 29–101.08 District of Columbia Official Code
Florida "corporation", "company", or "incorporated" or the abbreviation "Corp.", "Inc.", or "Co.", or the designation "Corp", "Inc", or "Co"§ 607.0401 Florida Statutes
Georgia 'corporation,' 'incorporated,' 'company,' or 'limited,' or the abbreviation 'corp.,' 'inc.,' 'co.,' or 'ltd.,' or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; must not be longer than 80 charactersO.C.G.A. § 14-2-401
Guam "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; if the word "company" or its abbreviation is used, it shall not be immediately preceded by the word "and" or an abbreviation or symbol representing the word "and."Title 18, § 2110, Guam Code Annotated
Hawaii "corporation", "incorporated", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", or "ltd."§ 414-51 Hawaii Revised Statutes
Idaho "corporation", "incorporated", "company", "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; provided however, that if the word "company" or its abbreviation is used it shall not be immediately preceded by the word "and" or by an abbreviation of or symbol representing the word "and"§ 30-1-401 Idaho Statutes
Illinois "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of such words805 ILCS 5/4.05 Illinois Compiled Statutes
Indiana "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language§ 23-1-23-1 Indiana Code
Iowa "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language§ 490.401 Iowa Acts
Kansas (except for banks) "association", "church", "college", "company", "corporation", "club", "foundation", "fund", "incorporated", "institute", "society", "union", "university", "syndicate" or "limited", or one of the abbreviations "co.", "corp.", "inc.", "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in other languages if they are written in Roman characters or letters§ 17-6002 Kansas Statutes
Kentucky "corporation", "incorporated" or the abbreviation "Inc.", or the word "company" or the abbreviation "Co."; but if the word "company" or the abbreviation "Co." is used, it may not be immediately preceded by the word "and" or the abbreviation "&."§ 273.177 Kentucky Revised Statutes
Louisiana (except for railroad, telegraph and telephone corporations) "Corporation", "Incorporated" or "Limited", or the abbreviation of any of those words, or may contain instead the word "Company" or the abbreviation "Co." if the latter word or abbreviation is not immediately preceded by the word "and" or the symbol "&". No corporate name shall contain the phrase "doing business as" or the abbreviation "d/b/a". Only a bank or bank holding company is allowed to use any of "bank", "banker", "banking", "savings", "safe deposit", "trust", "trustee", "building and loan", "homestead", "credit union", "insurance", "casualty", "redevelopment corporation", or "electric cooperative".§ 12:23 Louisiana Revised Statutes
Maine words or abbreviations of words that describe the nature of the entity, including "professional association", "corporation", "company", "incorporated", "chartered", "limited", "limited partnership", "limited liability company", "professional limited liability company", "limited liability partnership", "registered limited liability partnership", "service corporation" or "professional corporation"; beginning July 1, 2007, may also include "limited liability limited partnership"for business corporations: Title 13-C § 401 Maine Revised Statutes; for non-profit corporations: Title 13-B § 301-A Maine Revised Statutes
Maryland For Corporations: "Company", if it is not preceded by the word "and" or a symbol for the word "and"; "Corporation", "Incorporated" or "Limited" or abbreviations; for Limited liability companies: "limited liability company", "L.L.C.", "LLC", "L.C.", or "LC"; for Limited liability partnerships: "limited liability partnership", "L.L.P." or "LLP"; for Limited partnerships: "limited partnership", "L.P.", or "LP"; for Limited liability limited partnerships: "limited liability limited partnership", "L.L.L.P.", or "LLLP"; for Professional corporations: "chartered", "chtd.", "professional association", "P.A.", "professional corporation", or "P.C."Maryland Code – Corporations and Associations § 1–502
Massachusetts any name which, in the judgment of the secretary, indicates that it is a corporationGeneral Laws Of Massachusetts – Chapter 155: Section 9
Michigan "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited" or shall contain 1 of the following abbreviations, corp., co., inc., or ltd.Act 284 of 1972 Section 450.1211 Michigan Business Corporation Act
Minnesota nonprofit corporations are not required to use any of these words; for business corporations, they must use "corporation", "incorporated", or "limited", or shall contain an abbreviation of one or more of these words, or the word "company" or the abbreviation "Co." if that word or abbreviation is not immediately preceded by the word "and" or the character "&"Chapter 302A, Section 302A.115 Minnesota Statutes (for Business Corporations); Chapter 317A, Section 317A.115 Minnesota Statutes (for non-profit corporations)
Mississippi "corporation", "incorporated", "company" or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co." or "ltd." or words or abbreviations of like import in another language§ 79-4-4.01 Mississippi code
Missouri "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or shall end with an abbreviation of one of said words

Chapter 351 Section 351.110 Missouri Revised Statutes

Montana "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited"; the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd."; or words or abbreviations of similar meaning in another language35-1-308 Montana Code Annotated
Nebraska corporation, incorporated, company, or limited, or the abbreviation corp., inc., co., or ltd., or words or abbreviations of like import in another language, except that a corporation organized to conduct a banking business under the Nebraska Banking Act may use a name which includes the word bank without using any such words or abbreviationsSection 21-2028 State of Nebraska Statutes
Nevada No specific requirements stated except that a name appearing to be that of a natural person and containing a given name or initials must not be used as a corporate name except with an additional word or words such as "Incorporated", "Limited", "Inc.", "Ltd.", "Company", "Co.", "Corporation", "Corp.", or other word which identifies it as not being a natural person78.035 Nevada Revised Statutes
New Hampshire Contain the word "corporation", "incorporated", or "limited" or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", or "ltd."New Hampshire Revised Statutes – Title XXVII; Section 293-A:4.01 for business corporations
New Jersey Shall contain the word "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or shall contain an abbreviation of one of those words, or shall include the abbreviation Ltd.New Jersey Statutes 14A:2-2
New Mexico contain the separate word "corporation", "company", "incorporated" or "limited" or shall contain a separate abbreviation of one of these wordsNew Mexico Statutes Unannotated 53-11-7
New York Shall contain the word "corporation", "incorporated" or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of such words; there is also a long list of words a business corporation is not allowed to use without additional approval from other agencies including "board of trade", "state police", "urban development", "chamber of commerce", "state trooper", "urban relocation", "community renewal", "tenant relocation", "acceptance", "endowment", "loan", "annuity", "fidelity", "mortgage", "assurance", "finance", "savings" and many othersNew York State Consolidated Laws, Business Corporations Law § 301; Not-For-Profit Corporations Law, § 301
North Carolina A corporation must contain the word "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd."; a limited liability company must contain the words "limited liability company" or the abbreviation "L.L.C." or "LLC", or the combination "ltd. liability co.", "limited liability co.", or "ltd. liability company"; a limited partnership that is not a limited liability limited partnership must contain the words "limited partnership", the abbreviation "L.P." or "LP", or the combination "ltd. partnership"; a limited liability limited partnership must contain the words "registered limited liability limited partnership" or "limited liability limited partnership" or the abbreviation "L.L.L.P.", "R.L.L.L.P.", "LLLP", or "RLLLP"; a registered limited liability partnership's name must contain the words "registered limited liability partnership" or "limited liability partnership" or the abbreviation "L.L.P.", "R.L.L.P.", "LLP" or "RLLP".North Carolina General Statutes § 55D‑20
North Dakota Must contain the word "company", "corporation", "incorporated", "limited", or an abbreviation of one or more of these words; may not contain the words "limited liability company", "limited partnership", "limited liability partnership", "limited liability limited partnership", or any abbreviation of these words.North Dakota Century Code 10–19.1–13
Ohio It shall end with or include the word or abbreviation "company", "co.", "corporation", "corp.", "incorporated", or "inc."Ohio Revised Code § 1701.05
Oklahoma The name of the corporation which shall contain one of the words "association", "company", "corporation", "club", "foundation", "fund", "incorporated", "institute", "society", "union", "syndicate", or "limited" or abbreviations thereof, with or without punctuationOklahoma Statutes § 18-1006
Oregon For private corporations it shall contain one or more of the words "corporation", "incorporated", "company" or "limited" or an abbreviation of one or more of those words; shall not contain the word "cooperative". For non-profit corporations there is no specific requirement except the name cannot imply a purpose not dictated in its articles of incorporation and cannot contain the word "cooperative" or the phrase "limited partnership." Oregon Revised Statutes 60.094 for Private Corporations; ORS 65.094 for Non-Profit corporations
Pennsylvania Corporation, Corp., Company, Co., Incorporated, Inc., Limited, Ltd., Association., Fund., Syndicate or words or abbreviations of like import in languages other than EnglishPennsylvania Code, Chapter 19, § 23.3
Puerto Rico Corporation, Corp. or Inc., or words or abbreviations of like import in other languages, provided they are written in roman letters or charactersTitle 14, Subtitle 4, § 2602, Laws of Puerto Rico.
Rhode Island "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of these wordsRhode Island General Laws § 7–1.2-401
South Carolina "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another languageSouth Carolina Code of Laws Section 33-4-101
South Dakota corporation, incorporated, company, or limited, or the abbreviation, corp., inc., co., or ltd., or terms or abbreviations of like import in another languageSouth Dakota Codified Laws 47-1A-401
Tennessee "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language (provided they are written in Roman characters or letters); existing corporations which were formed using only "limited" or "ltd" are not required to change their name§ 48-14-101 Tennessee Code
Texas "company", "corporation", "incorporated", or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of those words.Texas Business Organizations Code § 5.054
U.S. Virgin Islands name shall be such as to indicate that it is a corporation as distinguished from a natural person or partnership.Title Thirteen, § 2, Virgin Islands Code
Utah "corporation", "incorporated", "company"; the abbreviation: "corp.", "inc." or "co." or words or abbreviations of like import to the words or abbreviations listed in another language; without the written consent of the United States Olympic Committee, may not contain the words "Olympic", "Olympiad", or "Citius Altius Fortius"; without the written consent of the Division of Consumer Protection may not contain the words "university", "college" or "institute"§ 16-10a-401 Utah Code
Vermont "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language; shall not have the word "cooperative" or any abbreviation thereof as part of its name unless the corporation is a worker cooperative corporationTitle 11A, § 4.01 Vermont Statutes
Virginia "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd."§ 13.1–630. Code of Virginia
Washington "corporation", "incorporated", "company", or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co.", or "ltd."; must not include "Bank", "banking", "banker", "trust", "cooperative", or any combination of the words "industrial" and "loan", or any combination of any two or more of the words "building", "savings", "loan", "home", "association", and "society"§ 23B.04.010 Revised Code of Washington
West Virginia "corporation", "incorporated", "company" or "limited", or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co." or "ltd.", or words or abbreviations of like import in another language§ 31D-4-401 West Virginia Code
Wisconsin "corporation", "incorporated", "company" or "limited" or the abbreviation "corp.", "inc.", "co." or "ltd." or words or abbreviations of like import in another language§ 180.0401 Wisconsin Statutes (for Stock corporations) and § 181.0401 Wisconsin Statutes (for non-stock corporations)
Wyoming Unclear; apparently any of "corporation", "company", "incorporated", and probably the usual abbreviations of "Corp." "Co." and "Inc."§ 17-16-401 Wyoming Statutes

Uruguay

Uzbekistan

Venezuela

Vietnam

See also

Notes

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corporation</span> Legal entity incorporated through a legislative or registration process

A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity and recognized as such in law for certain purposes. Early incorporated entities were established by charter. Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration. Corporations come in many different types but are usually divided by the law of the jurisdiction where they are chartered based on two aspects: by whether they can issue stock, or by whether they are formed to make a profit. Depending on the number of owners, a corporation can be classified as aggregate or sole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Public limited company</span> Publicly traded limited liability company

A public limited company is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, some Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely sold and traded to the public, with a minimum share capital of £50,000 and usually with the letters PLC after its name. Similar companies in the United States are called publicly traded companies. Public limited companies will also have a separate legal identity.

Business is the practice of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products. It is also "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">S.A. (corporation)</span> Type of corporation in countries that mostly employ civil law

The abbreviation S.A. or SA designates a type of limited company in certain countries, most of which have a Romance language as their official language and employ civil law. Originally, shareholders could be literally anonymous and collect dividends by surrendering coupons attached to their share certificates. Dividends were therefore paid to whoever held the certificate. Share certificates could be transferred privately, and therefore the management of the company would not necessarily know who owned its shares.

In law, a legal person is any person or 'thing' that can do the things a human person is usually able to do in law – such as enter into contracts, sue and be sued, own property, and so on. The reason for the term "legal person" is that some legal persons are not people: companies and corporations are "persons" legally speaking, but they are not people in a literal sense.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limited liability company</span> US form of a private limited company

A limited liability company is the US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation under state law; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions. LLCs are well known for the flexibility that they provide to business owners; depending on the situation, an LLC may elect to use corporate tax rules instead of being treated as a partnership, and, under certain circumstances, LLCs may be organized as not-for-profit. In certain U.S. states, businesses that provide professional services requiring a state professional license, such as legal or medical services, may not be allowed to form an LLC but may be required to form a similar entity called a professional limited liability company (PLLC).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joint-stock company</span> Business entity which is owned by shareholders

A joint-stock company is a business entity in which shares of the company's stock can be bought and sold by shareholders. Each shareholder owns company stock in proportion, evidenced by their shares. Shareholders are able to transfer their shares to others without any effects to the continued existence of the company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Incorporation (business)</span> Legal process to create a new corporation

Incorporation is the formation of a new corporation. The corporation may be a business, a nonprofit organization, sports club, or a local government of a new city or town.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limited company</span> Type of business entity

In a limited company, the liability of members or subscribers of the company is limited to what they have invested or guaranteed to the company. Limited companies may be limited by shares or by guarantee. In a company limited by shares, the liability of members is limited to the unpaid value of shares. In a company limited by guarantee, the liability of owners is limited to such amount as the owners may undertake to contribute to the assets of the company, in the event of being wound up. The former may be further divided in public companies and private companies. Who may become a member of a private limited company is restricted by law and by the company's rules. In contrast, anyone may buy shares in a public limited company.

A joint venture (JV) is a business entity created by two or more parties, generally characterized by shared ownership, shared returns and risks, and shared governance. Companies typically pursue joint ventures for one of four reasons: to access a new market, particularly Emerging market; to gain scale efficiencies by combining assets and operations; to share risk for major investments or projects; or to access skills and capabilities.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Limited liability partnership</span> Partnership in which some or all partners (depending on the jurisdiction) have limited liabilities

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners have limited liabilities. It therefore can exhibit elements of partnerships and corporations. In an LLP, each partner is not responsible or liable for another partner's misconduct or negligence. This distinguishes an LLP from a traditional partnership under the UK Partnership Act 1890, in which each partner has joint liability. In an LLP, some or all partners have a form of limited liability similar to that of the shareholders of a corporation. Unlike corporate shareholders, the partners have the power to manage the business directly. In contrast, corporate shareholders must elect a board of directors under the laws of various state charters. The board organizes itself and hires corporate officers who then have as "corporate" individuals the legal responsibility to manage the corporation in the corporation's best interest. An LLP also contains a different level of tax liability from that of a corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sole proprietorship</span> Business legally synonymous with its owner

A sole proprietorship, also known as a sole tradership, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise owned and run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sole trader does not necessarily work alone and may employ other people.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Private limited company</span> Type of company used in many jurisdictions

A private limited company is any type of business entity in "private" ownership used in many jurisdictions, in contrast to a publicly listed company, with some differences from country to country. Examples include the LLC in the United States, private company limited by shares in the United Kingdom, GmbH in Germany and Austria, société à responsabilité limitée in France, and sociedad de responsabilidad limitada in the Spanish-speaking world. The benefit of having a private limited company is that there is limited liability. However, shares can only be sold to shareholders in the business, which means that it can be difficult to liquidate such a company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Corporate law</span> Body of law that governs businesses

Corporate law is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and businesses. The term refers to the legal practice of law relating to corporations, or to the theory of corporations. Corporate law often describes the law relating to matters which derive directly from the life-cycle of a corporation. It thus encompasses the formation, funding, governance, and death of a corporation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Privately held company</span> Business with a small number of owners

A privately held company is a company whose shares and related rights or obligations are not offered for public subscription or publicly negotiated in the respective listed markets, but rather the company's stock is offered, owned, traded, exchanged privately, or over-the-counter. In the case of a closed corporation, there are a relatively small number of shareholders or company members. Related terms are closely-held corporation, unquoted company, and unlisted company.

<i>Kommanditgesellschaft</i> German name for a limited partnership business entity

A Kommanditgesellschaft is the German name for a limited partnership business entity and is used in German, Belgian, Dutch, Austrian, and some other European legal systems. In Japan, it is called a gōshi gaisha. Its name derives from the commenda, an early Italian medieval form of limited partnership.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Company</span> Association or collection of individuals

A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms, such as:

There are many ways in which a business may be owned under the legal system of England and Wales.

<i>Besloten vennootschap</i> Dutch and Belgian version of a private limited liability company

A besloten vennootschap or société à responsabilité limitée (SRL) is the Dutch and Belgian version of a private limited liability company. The company is owned by shareholders; the company's shares are privately registered and not freely transferable. It is the most common form of limited company in the Netherlands and Belgium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South African company law</span> Regulates corporations formed under the Companies Act

South African company law is that body of rules which regulates corporations formed under the Companies Act. A company is a business organisation which earns income by the production or sale of goods or services. This entry also covers rules by which partnerships and trusts are governed in South Africa, together with cooperatives and sole proprietorships.

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