I disagree with many of the statements in Company, but rather than change them on my own say so, felt that discussion was more appropriate.
> A company (or corporation) is a legal? entity chartered by the state for a particular purpose.
What do we mean by "chartered"? Some historical companies have been formally chartered by the state, but others are simply licensed or recognized, allowing them to do business. Yet other companies, private partnerships or sole owner companies, simply file public notice concerning a fictitious business name and go into business without needing formal recognition from the state.
> Sometimes called a "fictional person" a company enjoys many of the rights? and responsibilities? of individual citizens? such as the ability to own property, sign binding contracts?, pay taxes?, and otherwise participate in society?.
To my knowledge this applies only to formal corporations (by whatever name applies in the nationality involved). Non-corporate companies do not have these rights and abilities, but instead the owners of the company individually and/or jointly own property, sign contracts, etc.
> American corporations are typically chartered in Delaware?.
No, American corporations are typically chartered in the state where the founding members live or do business. Every state has large numbers of corporations, and I expect there are fewer in Delaware than in many of the larger states.
Some states do have specific laws which grant more protections to corporations, either in general or to specific types of corporations. Because of this, financial corporations (such as credit card companies) often choose to incorporate in Delaware. However, other types of corporations will likewise choose to incorporate in other states which are friendly to their type of company.
In my experience, "company" is primarily used to refer to corporations. I suppose it can be used to refer to a partnership, although I at least would not normally call partnerships companies. I cannot see how you can call a single proprietorship a company though -- the fundamental meaning of company is a group of individuals -- how can a single person be a group?
Not all corporations are companies though. Many government agencies or non-profit organizations are called "corporations", but I wouldn't call them companies. And I don't think you could call a corporation sole a company, based on the definition of "company".
All corporations have to be chartered in some sense. Historically, there are three different ways in English law a company can be established: by royal charter, by special act of Parliament passed to create that particular company, or by registration under a general Corporations Act. Often, only companies established by royal charter or act of Parliament are referred to as having a "charter" (although maybe usage is different in the US).
Also, I think the US is somewhat unusual in having different corporations laws in each state. Most countries (e.g. Australia) have a national corporations law. There is even some transnational corporations law in development (via the European Company Statute). -- SJK
I think that we are hitting a difference in US English versus UK English. US English company refers to any business, while UK English company refers exclusively to corporations. Maybe move this article over to corporation -- Chenyu
Yes, we might have a problem with language.
"Company" is used to refer to businesses comprised of multiple people. These can be huge multi-national corporations, partnerships, or even single proprieterships and single-owner corporations. The important distinction is that a company has multiple people in the company, owner, clerks, staff, etc. So a company can have a single owner but employ hundreds of people.
As for "charter", I believe that word isn't used much in the USA. A company is founded, or licensed, or incorporated (depending on the type of company).
As for the states, the USA is a union of quasi-national states, a federation of states. Each state has its own business regulations, and the federal government has jurisdiction only over those activities which cross state borders (inter-state commerce).
For-profit entity or non profit entity acting as the General Partner
A friend and I are about to form a partnership including a for-profit entity, and a non-profit entity among the partners. We are attempting to determine whether the for-profit entity should be one of the General Partners or one of the limited partners. Or is it better for the non-profit to be the General Partners, and not one of the limited partners. What are the tax and operating benefits in each case?
Disambiguating this page
I a disambiguating this page, and just so everyone know's what I'm doing, here's my criteria for how I am determining what to link to:
- If it's clearly a corporation I am linking to corporation.
- If the text is ambiguous about what type of company it is I am linking to types of companies.
- If the article is using the generic meaning of company (eg. Some companies do business in many countries.) then I will link to types of companies.
Kevin Rector 13:41, Jul 23, 2004 (UTC)
- I have changed the redirect for "Company" back to "Company (law)" and put a link to the disambiguation page at the top of "Company (law)". That is how it was previously and I think that is the sensible approach. Wikipedia doesn't keep stats, but it seems to me highly likely that 99% of the hits for company will be for the legal entity as opposed to the military term or a number of obscure films or books. Happy to hear other points of view, but that seems to me to be the most sensible approach. I appreciate that Americans and Canadians refer to companies as corporations, but I still think that if you just aggregate the Brits, the Ozzies, the Kiwis and other Commonwealth countries, the business entity is going to be by far the bulk of the hits as opposed to the other options on the disambiguation page. Legis 08:43, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Other obscure uses of company
"The company" was also used by Joseph Conrad in the Heart of Darkness to refer to the greed of European colonisers in Africa. Starfish9 23:36, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
A disambiguation page is not a thesaurus entry, with pointers to articles that might be vaguely related to the term in question. It is essentially a list of articles that could conceivably have that term as their title, if Wikipedia didn't require unique titles. Accordingly, I have deleted all the vaguely related items, such as interpersonal relationship and concubine. Additionally, if there is a primary term, as is the case with company, it should be in the first line, before the list of subsidiary entries—I have fixed this as well. I've made some other minor changes to bring this page more in line with the Guidelines and Manual of Style. These both provide a great explanation of the purpose of disambiguation pages—anyone editing a DAB should read them. —johndburger 00:52, 27 October 2010 (UTC)