Template:Refimprove Template:Comparison Template:Companies law There are many types of business entity defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability company and other specialized types of organization. Some of these types are listed below, by country.

For guidance, approximate equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases, e.g. ≈ p.l.c. (UK), ≈ Ltd. (UK), ≈ limited partnership, etc. It should be remembered, however, that the regulations governing particular types of entity, even those described as roughly equivalent, may differ to a greater or lesser extent between countries.

Depending on which type of business entity you choose will also influence the legal structure.[1]

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  • Inc. (Incorporated): restricted to non-profit associations
  • Ltd. (Limited): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). The suffix Ltd. may also be used by a private company limited by guarantee, such as a charity or university (these may obtain dispensation from the Registrar of Companies to operate without the suffix).
  • NL (No liability): a type of mining, speculative or research company with no right to call up the unpaid issue price of shares
  • Pty. Ltd. (Proprietary Limited Company): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • Pty. Ltd. (Proprietary Limited Company): ≈ Ltd. (UK) ATF Trust. In Australia companies can act as a trustee for a trust.
  • Pty. (Unlimited Proprietary) company with a share capital: A company, similar to its limited company (Ltd., or Pty. Ltd.) counterpart, but where the liability of the members or shareholders is not limited.


  • Companies:
  • Partnerships:
    • GesbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts): "civil-law partnership"; statutes and regulations concerning Austrian companies law, especially about the Austrian companies register (Firmenbuch), do not apply.
    • stG (stille Gesellschaft): ≈ anonymous partnership (S.Africa); not registered on the companies register, hence the name.
    • OG (offene Gesellschaft): ≈ general partnership
    • KG (Kommanditgesellschaft): ≈ limited partnership
      • GmbH & Co. KG: KG in which a GmbH is the general partner.
  • Gen (Erwerbs- und Wirtschaftsgenossenschaft): ≈ cooperative
  • Obsolete:
    • KEG (Kommanditerwerbsgesellschaft) and
    • OEG (Offene Erwerbsgesellschaft): Similar partnerships not qualifying as KG or OG, respectively.

See also (Austrian government site, in German)


  • ААТ (Адкрытае акцыянернае таварыства): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), open
  • ЗАТ (Закрытае ацыянернае таварыства): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), closed
  • ІП (індывідуальны прадпрымальнік): sole proprietorship
  • ПУП (Прыватнае унітарнае прадпрыемства): private unitary enterprise
  • ТАА (Таварыства з абмежаванай адказнасцю): ≈ Ltd. (UK)


Dutch, French or German names may be used.

  • NV (Naamloze Vennootschap) / SA (Societé Anonyme): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • BVBA (Besloten Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid) / SPRL (Société Privée à Responsabilité Limitée): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
    • EBVBA (Eenpersoons Besloten Vennootschap Met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid) / SPRLU (Société Privée à Responsabilité Limitée Unipersonnelle): single member company
  • Comm.V (Gewone Commanditaire Vennootschap) / SCS (Société en Commandite Simple): limited partnership
  • Comm.VA (Commanditaire Vennootschap op Aandelen) / SCA (Société en Commandite par Actions): publicly traded partnership
  • CVBA (Coöperatieve Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid) / SCRL (Société Coopérative à Responsabilité Limitée): limited liability cooperative
  • CVOA (Coöperatieve Vennootschap met Onbeperkte Aansprakelijkheid) / SCRI (Société Coopérative à Responsabilité Illimitée): unlimited liability cooperative
  • VOF (Vennootschap Onder Firma) / SNC (Société en Nom Collectif): ≈ general partnership

Bosnia and HerzegovinaEdit

  • d.d.(dioničko društvo): ≈ p.l.c. (UK) ≈ AG (Germany)
  • a.d.(akcionarsko društvo): ≈ p.l.c. (UK) ≈ AG (Germany)
  • d.n.o.(društvo s neograničenom solidarnom odgovornošću): ≈ general partnership
  • d.o.o.(društvo s ograničenom odgovornošću): ≈ Ltd. (UK) ≈ GmbH (Germany)
  • k.d.(komanditno društvo): ≈ limited partnership



  • AD / АД (aktsionerno drujestvo / акционерно дружество): joint stock companyp.l.c. (UK)
  • ADSITz / АДСИЦ (aktsionerno druzhestvo sus spetsialna investitsionna tsel / акционерно дружество със специална инвестиционна цел): real estate investment trust
  • EAD / ЕАД (ednolichno aktsionerno druzhestvo / еднолично акционерно дружество): type of AD with a single member
  • EOOD / ЕООД (ednolichno druzhestvo s ogranichena otgovornost / еднолично дружество с ограничена отговорност): type of OOD with a single member
  • ET / ЕТ (ednolichen turgovetz / едноличен търговец): sole proprietorship
  • OOD / ООД (drujestvo s ogranichena otgovornost / дружество с ограничена отговорност): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • KD / КД (komanditno druzhestvo / командитно дружество): ≈ limited partnership
  • KDA / КДА (komanditno druzhestvo s aktzii / командитно дружество с акции): limited partnership with shares
  • SD / СД (subiratelno druzhestvo / събирателно дружество): ≈ general partnership, but having legal personality


  • SP (Sole Proprietorship)
  • GP (General Partnership)
  • LP (Limited Partnership)
  • SM Pte Ltd. (Single Member Private Limited Company):
  • Pte Ltd. (Private Limited Company): ≈ [private limited company (Ltd.)] (UK)
  • Plc Ltd. (Public Limited Company): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • PEEC (Public Establishment with Economic characteristics)
  • State Company: ≈ p.l.c.
  • State Joint Venture Company: ≈ p.l.c.


In Canada entities can be incorporated under either federal or provincial (or territorial) law. Unlimited liability corporations can be formed in Alberta "AULC" and Nova Scotia "NSULC".

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.


  • SpA (Sociedad por acciones): limited partnership with shares
  • EIRL (Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada): individual enterprise with limited liability
  • S.A. (Sociedad Anónima): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • LTDA. (Sociedad de responsabilidad limitada): ≈ Ltd. (UK)


See below for Hong Kong.



Czech RepublicEdit

  • a.s., akc. spol. (Akciová společnost): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum share capital CZK 2m (20m for IPOs). Must have a supervisory board in addition to the management board.
  • s.r.o., spol. s r.o. (Společnost s ručením omezeným): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • v.o.s. (veřejná obchodní společnost): ≈ general partnership
  • k.s. (komanditní společnost)


Dominican RepublicEdit

  • S.A. (Sociedad Anónima): ≈ public limited company
  • SRL. (Sociedad de Resposabilidad Limitada): ≈ LTD
  • EIRL. (Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada)
  • Sociedad En Comandita Simple.


  • SAE (Sharikat al-Mossahamah) ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum capital EGP 250,000.
  • LLC (Limited Liability Company) ≈ Ltd. (UK). No Minimum capital .
  • Sharikat Tadamun ≈ شركة تضامن general partnership
  • Sharikat Tawssiyah Bassita ≈ شركات توصية بسيطة limited partnership
  • Sharikat Tawssiyah Belashom ≈ LLP


European Economic Area (including the European Union)Edit

  • SCE (Societas Cooperativa Europaea): a European Cooperative (Societas Cooperativa Europaea is Latin for "European Cooperative Society").
  • SE (Societas Europaea): a European (Public) Limited Company (Societas Europaea is Latin for "European Company").

An SE or SCE may be created by registration in any of the EU/EEA Member States, and is subject to the European Company Statute. It may relocate its registered office to any other EU/EEA Member State with minimal formalities.

  • EEIG (European Economic Interest Grouping): an EU legal entity designed to enable cross-border cooperation between companies. It has unlimited liability and is not liable for corporation tax.
  • (proposed) SPE (Societas Privata Europaea): a European private limited company, corresponding to Ltd., GmbH, etc. This form of company is currently being proposed by the European Commission.


  • Ay (avoin yhtiö, Swedish: öppet bolag): ≈ general partnership (use optional)
  • Ky (kommandiittiyhtiö, Swedish kommanditbolag, Kb): ≈ limited partnership
  • Oy (osakeyhtiö, Swedish: aktiebolag, Ab): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum share capital €2500.
  • Oyj (julkinen osakeyhtiö, Swedish: publikt aktiebolag, Abp): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • Ok (osuuskunta, Swedish: andelslag, Anl.): ≈ cooperative
  • T:mi (toiminimi), Yksityinen elinkeinonharjoittaja (Swedish: firma/F:ma, enskild näringsidkare): sole proprietorship (use optional)
  • ry (rekisteröity yhdistys, Swedish förening): incorporated association
  • rp (rekisteröity puolue, Swedish: registrerat parti): registered political party
  • säätiö (Swedish: stiftelse): foundation
  • valtion liikelaitos (Swedish: statens affärsverk): commercial government agency, expected to fund themselves, but debts directly backed by state funds — distinguished from regular companies where the government owns stock. (See: List of Finnish government enterprises)
  • kunnallinen liikelaitos (Swedish: kommunal affärsverk): municipal enterprise, similar as previous but run by a municipality

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.

In addition to native types, European Union types are implemented:


  • Auto-entrepreneur: ≈ sole trader (UK), sole proprietorship (US/Can), both with an income cap
  • EI (Entreprise individuelle/entreprise en nom personnel): ≈ sole trader (UK), sole proprietorship (US/Can)
  • Investment funds/companies:
  • GIE (Groupement d'intérêt économique): economic interest grouping
  • Association: ≈ voluntary association
    • Association non-déclarée: ≈ unincorporated association (UK)
    • Association déclarée: ≈ incorporated association (Au)
  • Partnerships (société de personnes):
    • SEP (Société en participation): ≈ anonymous partnership (S.Africa)
    • SNC (Société en nom collectif): ≈ general partnership (GP)
    • SCS (Société en commandite simple): ≈ limited partnership (LP)
    • SCA (Société en commandite par actions): ≈ publicly traded partnership (PTP) (US)
  • Companies (société de capitaux):
    • SARL, SàRL (Société à responsabilité limitée): ≈ private limited company (Ltd.) (UK), limited liability company (US)
      • EURL (Entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée): ≈ single member company (SME Pvt) (UK)
    • Incorporated companies (société par actions)
      • SA (Société anonyme): ≈ public limited company (p.l.c.) (UK), (public) corporation (US/Can)
      • SAS (Société par actions simplifiée): ≈ unlisted public company (Au), close corporation (CC) (S.Africa), private corporation (Can); often used for subsidiaries; minimum of one director and two members/shareholders; no limit on share capital; liability can be restricted to director; no "one share - one vote" principle
        • SASU (Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle): single member close corporation


  • Einzelunternehmen: ≈ sole trader (UK), sole proprietorship (US)
  • Partenreederei: A form of combined and continued ownership of a single merchant vessel.
  • e.G. (eingetragene Genossenschaft): ≈ cooperative
  • Verein: ≈ association
  • Partnerships (Personengesellschaften)
    • GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts): no minimum capital, unlimited liability of partners, non-business or small-business activities only.
    • Innengesellschaft: ≈ anonymous partnership (S.Africa)
    • registered business partnerships (Personenhandelsgesellschaften)
      • OHG (offene Handelsgesellschaft): ≈ general partnership; no minimum capital, unlimited liability of partners.
      • KG (Kommanditgesellschaft): ≈ limited partnership
        • GmbH & Co. KG and GmbH & Co. KGaA: a special type of Kommanditgesellschaft in which the general partner is a GmbH. The GmbH & Co. KGaA it is a variant with shares.
        • AG & Co. KG and AG & Co. KGaA: a special type of Kommanditgesellschaft in which the general partner is an Aktiengesellschaft. The AG & Co. KGaA is a variant with shares.
    • PartG (Partnerschaftsgesellschaft): ≈ professional (service) partnership


  • A.E. (Anonimi Eteria/Ανώνυμη Εταιρία): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), minimum capital €60,000
  • E.E. (Eterorithmos Eteria/Ετερόρρυθμος Εταιρία): limited partnership
  • E.P.E. (Eteria Periorismenis Euthinis/Εταιρία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης): ≈ Ltd. (UK), minimum capital €4,500
  • M.E.P.E. (Monoprosopi Eteria Periorismenis Euthinis/Μονοπρόσωπη ΕΠΕ): type of E.P.E. with a single member
  • O.E. (Omorithmos Eteria/Ομόρρυθμος Εταιρία): general partnership
  • Α.Β.Ε.Ε. (Anonimi Biomixaniki Emporiki Eteria/ Ανώνυμη Βιομηχανική Εμπορική Εταιρεία)
  • Ο.Β.Ε.Ε. (Omorithmi Biomixaniki Emporiki Eteria/ Ομόρρυθμη Βιομηχανική Εμπορική Εταιρεία)


  • Standardized Company; Legal Form, Sociedad Anónima (SA) – Stock Corporation; Minimum Capital Requirement, 25,000

Hong KongEdit

  • Ltd. (Limited / 有限公司): may denote either a private or public company limited by shares, or a company limited by guarantee. Under the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32), the name of a Hong Kong incorporated company may be registered in either the English or Chinese language, or both.
  • Unltd. or Ultd. (Unlimited / 無限公司): similar to a limited liability company (Ltd.) but whose members or shareholders do not benefit from limited liability should the company ever go into formal liquidation. It is not a requirement under company law to add or state the word or designation Unlimited (無限公司) or its abbreviations (Unltd., or Ultd.) at the ending of its legal company name, and most unlimited companies do not.


  • e.v. (egyéni vállalkozó): sole proprietorship
  • e.c. (egyéni cég): sole proprietorship registered at "companies house"
  • bt. (betéti társaság): partnership, at least one unlimited/general partner and one limited partner
  • kft. (korlátolt felelősségű társaság): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • kht. (közhasznú társaság): community interest Ltd. (UK) (not registrable anymore, must use Nonprofit Kft instead)
  • kkt. (közkereseti társaság): ≈ general partnership
  • kv. (közös vállalat): joint venture
  • rt. (részvénytársaság) limited company with shares (not registrable anymore, must use Zrt or Nyrt depending on publicness)
  • zrt. (zártkörűen működő részvénytársaság): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • nyrt. (nyilvánosan működő részvénytársaság): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)

Of these, only nyrt., zrt., and kft. have legal personality.


Name Type Notes
ehf. (einkahlutafélag) Ltd. (UK)
  • Minimum capital: ISK 500,000 (£2,750; €3,260; $4,250).
  • Minimum shareholders: 1.
einstaklingsfyrirtæki sole proprietorship
hf. (hlutafélag) p.l.c. (UK)
  • Minimum capital: ISK 4,000,000 (£22,000; €26,100; $34,000).
  • Minimum shareholders: 2.
ohf. (opinbert hlutafélag) government-owned corporation
samlagsfélag limited partnership
samvinnufélag cooperative
sf. (sameignarfélag) general partnership
ses. (sjálfseignarstofnun) non-profit organization
  • Minimum capital: ISK 1,000,000 (£5,500; €6,520; $8,500).


  • Sole Proprietorship - liability is unlimited.
  • Partnership - liability is joint and unlimited.
    • Active partners take part in day-to-day operations of the business, in addition to investing in it. Active partners are entitled to a share of the enterprise's profits.
    • Sleeping partners invest in the business and are entitled to a share of its profits, but do not participate in day-to-day operations.
  • Limited Liability Partnership - Liability is limited
  • HUF (Hindu Undivided Family) - businesses owned by a joint family belonging to Hindu religion. Even though Jain and Sikh families are not governed by the Hindu law, they can still form a HUF.
  • Cooperative
  • Family Owned Business
  • Pvt. Ltd. (Private Limited Company): ≈ Ltd. (UK). May have 2–50 shareholders; shares are held privately and can not be offered to public.
  • Ltd. (Public Limited Company): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • Public Sector Unit (PSU) - Alternatively known as Public Sector Enterprise (PSE). It may be public limited company listed on stock exchanges with major ownership by a state government or a central government of India or it may be unlisted entity with major ownership by a state government or a central government of India. Some of these entities are formed as business entities through special legislation, where these entities are governed by the statutes of these legislation and may or may not be governed by company laws like a typical business entity.
  • Unlimited Company. A company, similar to its limited company (Ltd., or Pvt. Ltd.) counterpart, but where the liability of the members or shareholders is not limited.
  • Incorporated Company


  • Yayasan: foundation
  • UD (Usaha Dagang): sole proprietorship
  • Fa (Firma): a partnership firm for the purpose of dealing with third parties.
  • Koperasi: a cooperative, where the clients/customers are also the owner
  • Maatschap (Persekutuan Pedata): a professional partnership, where the partners are treated as natural persons for tax and liability purposes e.g. Kantor Akuntan Publik Siddharta, Siddharta & Wijaya.
  • Persekutuan Komanditer (Dutch: CV – Commanditaire Vennootschaap): limited partnership
  • Perusahaan Umum (Perum), Perusahaan Jawatan (Perjan): state-owned entities e.g. Perum Peruri, Perjan Rumah Sakit Fatmawati
  • PT (PERSERO) Tbk, PT (PERSERO): state-owned or majority state-owned PT Tbk or PT, e.g. PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk
  • PT (Perseroan Terbatas): ≈ Ltd. (UK), e.g. PT Astra Honda Motor
  • PT Tbk (Perseroan Terbatas Terbuka or Perseroan Terbuka): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange, e.g. PT Multi Bintang Indonesia Tbk. Formerly also Dutch NV (Naamloze Vennootschap)


  • شرکت سهامی عام (Sherkat Sahami Am): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), public
  • شرکت سهامی خاص (Sherkat Sahami Khas): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), private
  • شرکت با مسئولیت محدود (Sherkat ba Masouliyat Mahdoud): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • شرکت مختلط غیر سهامی (Sherkat Mokhtalet Gheyr Sahami): ≈ limited partnership
  • شرکت مختلط سهامی (Sherkat Mokhtalet Sahami): mixed joint-stock partnership
  • شرکت تضامنی (Sherkat Tazamoni): ≈ general partnership
  • شرکت نسبی (Sherkat Nesbi): proportional liability partnership
  • Sherkat Ta’avoni Tolid va Masraf: production and consumption cooperative


Similar to 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 p.l.c., and Teo (Teoranta) for Ltd.

  • Limited Company – Four types:
    • Private company limited by shares – If company is wound up, members’ liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on the shares they hold. Maximum number of members in the Republic of Ireland is 99.
    • Company limited by guarantee not having a share capital - Public company. Must have at least seven members. Members' liability limited to amount they have undertaken to contribute to company assets. If wound up, liability does not exceed amount specified in memorandum. If a guarantee company does not have a share capital, members are not required to buy shares (such as charities).
    • Company limited by guarantee having a share capital - As with a private company if the maximum number of members is 99. Members have liability either for the amount, if any, that is unpaid on the shares they hold, or for the amount they have undertaken to contribute to company assets, in the event that it is wound up.
    • A public limited company. Must have at least seven members. Liability is limited to the amount, if any, unpaid on shares they hold. Unlawful to issue any form of prospectus except in compliance with the Companies Acts 1963-2006. Nominal value of Company's allotted share capital must satisfy specified minimums which must be fully paid before company commences business or exercises any borrowing powers.
  • Single Member Company – Private company limited by shares or a guarantee company having a share capital, which is incorporated with one member, or whose membership is reduced to one person. Must have at least two directors and one secretary. Sole member can dispense with holding General Meetings including Annual General Meetings.
  • Unlimited Company - No limit on liability of members. Creditors may have recourse to shareholders for unpaid liabilities of the company. Must have at least two shareholders.
  • Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) - Public limited companies formed under EU Regulation and the Companies Acts 1963-2006. Sole object of a UCIT is collective investment in transferable securities of capital raised from the public that operates on the principle of risk-spreading. Central Bank of Ireland must approve all registrations of UCITS.
  • European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIG) - Mechanism for a business within the EU to engage in cross-border commerce. Purpose is to facilitate or develop economic activities of its members. Must have between two and 20 members which may be companies or individuals from different EU states.
  • Societas Europaea (SE) – A European public limited liability company formed under EU Regulation and the European Communities Regulations 2007. Can be formed by merger or as a holding or subsidiary SE or by conversion of a PLC to an SE. Must have members from different Member States unless an SE itself is setting up a subsidiary SE.


  • B.M./BM/בע"מ (Be'eravon Mugbal) literally: by limited liability/warranty, usually translated "Ltd." in English, pronounced "BE'AM" in Hebrew.
  • Company (corporation) - Formed and registered in Israel in accordance with Israeli law. Most companies limit liability of their members in the form of shares. In this case the term "Limited" or the abbreviation "Ltd." must appear as part of the full name of the Company.
    • Private Company, 1-50 shareholders, 1 director, may not offer or sell stock or debentures to the public. Articles must containt restriction on transfer of shares.
    • Public Company, minimum 7 shareholders, may offer stock or debentures to the public after issuing a prospectus with specified information. Must publish annual report that includes audited financial statements and directors' report, filed with Register of Companies, available to the public.
  • Foreign Company (branch) - Company formed overseas may have a branch or local office in Israel. Must register as a foreign company with Register of Companies within one month of its establishment. If the company uses "limited" as part of its name, it must display its name and the country where it is formed in every invoice, letter, announcement, advertisement, or other official publication. No requirement to publish financial statements of a private company.
  • Partnership - Entity that consists of persons who contract to form a partnership. Personal liability of the partners is not limited unless they are limited partners of limited partnerships. A foreign partnership is also permitted to do business in Israel.
  • Self Employed - A self employed person works entirely for him/herself and is entirely liable for the business. Same rules of registration apply.
  • Cooperative - Entity found mainly in agriculture (such as a kibbutz or moshav), or transportation, or certain types of marketing operations associated with agricultural products.
  • Non Profit Organization - Mainly academic institutions, hospitals, charitable organizations, and municipalities. Non profits are subject to a special law governing their formation and operations.


  • S.s. (Società semplice): ≈ sole trader (UK), sole proprietorship (US)
  • Partnerships:
  • Companies:
    • S.p.A. (Società per azioni): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), corporation (US)
    • S.a.p.a (Società in accomandita per azioni): ≈ publicly traded partnership
    • S.r.l., Srl, S.R.L. (Società a responsabilità limitata): ≈ Ltd. (UK), LLC (US)
  • Cooperatives:
    • S.c.r.l. (Società cooperativa a responsabilità limitata) cooperative limited (liability) company


Business corporations are referred to as kaisha (会社) and are formed under the Companies Law of 2005. There are currently (2010) 5 types and each of them has legal personality:

  • 株式会社 (kabushiki-kaisha or kabushiki-gaisha, "K.K.") - lit. "stock company," the most typical form of business corporation.
  • 有限会社 (yūgen-kaisha or yūgen-gaisha, "Y.K.") - lit. "limited company," a close corporation form for smaller businesses, abolished in 2006
  • 合同会社 (gōdō-kaisha or gōdō-gaisha, "G.K.") - lit. "amalgamated company," a close corporation form similar to the American LLC, introduced in 2006 instead of abolished "Y.K."
  • 合資会社 (gōshi-kaisha or gōshi-gaisha, "GSK") - corporation similar to a limited partnership
  • 合名会社 (gōmei-kaisha or gōmei-gaisha, "GMK") - corporation similar to a general partnership

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

  • 任意組合 (ni n i kumiai, "NK") - general partnership (Civil Code)
  • 匿名組合 (Tokumei kumiai, "TK") - anonymous partnership, a investment bilateral contract (Commercial Code, Book 2 Ch.4 Article 535 et seq)
  • 投資事業有限責任組合 (toushi jigyou yūgensekin kumiai, "?") - limited partnership for investment (Limited Partnership for Investment Act 1998, Rev.2004)
  • 有限責任事業組合 (yūgen-sekinin-jigyō-kumiai) - similar to a Limited Liability Partnership (Limited Liability Partnership Act of 2005)

Corporations formed by the Professionals under the statutes governing them and their qualifications. These corporations can NOT gain limited liability except for the audit corporation:

  • 監査法人 (kansa-hōjin) - audit corporation, The certification of limited liability needs some requirements such as information disclosure (Certified Public Accountant Law)
  • 税理士法人 (zeirishi-hōjin) - tax accounting corporation (Tax Accountant Law)
  • 弁護士法人 (bengoshi-hōjin) - legal services corporation (Attorney Law)

Corporations formed as Non-Profit Organization:

  • General Association & General Foundation, providing club goods is allowed, though these 2 types are oriented to provide public goods:
    • 一般社団法人 (ippan-shadan-hōjin) - incorporated association, which needs one member, though 2 members when establishment, at least (Law concerning General Incorporated Association and General Incorporated Foundation of 2008)
    • 一般財団法人 (ippan-zaidan-hōjin) - incorporated foundation, which needs asset of 3 million yen at least (Law concerning General Incorporated Association and General Incorporated Foundation of 2008)
  • Public Association & Public Foundation, are the above 2 types given some advantages such as tax exemption and licensed to have "公益" (koueki, public) in its name after the Certification of Public Benefit:
    • 公益社団法人 (koueki-shadan-hōjin)- incorporated public association (Law for Certification of Public Association and Public Foundation of 2008)
    • 公益財団法人 (koueki-zaidan-hōjin)- incorporated public foundation (Law for Certification of Public Association and Public Foundation of 2008)
  • 特定非営利活動法人 (tokutei-hieiri-katsudou-houjin, jpn. abbr."NPO法人" or "トクヒ(tokuhi)") -incorporated Non-Profit Organization, which is similar to General Association. However, it must provide public goods. Nowadays, the meaning of this corporation type is unclear because of the above 4 types (Law for Promotion of Specific Non-Profit Activities of 1998)
  • 学校法人 (gakkō-hōjin) - school corporation, defined under the law as a foundation having school function (Private School Law)
  • 宗教法人 (shūkyō-hōjin) - religious corporation (Religious Corporation Law)
  • 社会福祉法人 (shakai-fukushi-hōjin) - social welfare corporation (Social Welfare Law)

Corporations formed under other statutes are as follows:

  • 相互会社 (sōgo-kaisha or sōgo-gaisha) - mutual insurer (Insurance Business Law)
  • 医療法人 (iryō-hōjin) - medical corporation, includes 6 types (Medical Care Law)
  • 共同組合 (kyōdō-kumiai) - cooperative (formed under several specialized statutes)
  • 信用組合 (shin'yō-kumiai) - credit union (Credit Union Law)
  • 信用金庫 (shin'yō-kinko) - shinkin bank (Shinkin Bank Law)

Types of Public Government Service Groups

  • 地方公共団体 (chihō-kōkyō-dantai) - local authority (prefectures, cities, etc.)
    • 一部事務組合 (ichibu-jimu-kumiai) - part public service joint venture of local authorities
    • 全部事務組合 (zenbu-jimu-kumiai) - entire public service joint venture of local authorities

Types of public corporations include:

  • 特殊法人 (tokusyu-hōjin) - public service corporation
    • 公団 (kōdan) - public investment corporation
    • 公庫 (kōko) - public finance corporation
    • 公社 (kōsha) - public service corporation
  • 独立行政法人 (dokuritu-Gyōsei-hōjin) - public service corporation, or officially Incorporated Administrative Agency
    • 国立大学法人 (kokuritsu-daigaku-hōjin) - national university corporation
    • 公立大学法人 (kōritsu-daigaku-hōjin) - public university corporation


  • АО (Aktsionernoe obschestvo/Акционерное общество): Joint stock company
  • ТОО (Tovarishchestvo s ogranichennoy otvetstvennostyu/Товарищество с ограниченной ответственностью): limited liability partnership
  • ТДО (Товарищество с дополнительной ответственностью) Additional liability partnership
  • ГП (Gosudarstvenoe predpriyatie/Государственное предприятие): State company
  • КТ (Командитное товарищество)
  • ОО (Общественное объединение) Social association
  • ПТ (Полное товарищество) Full partnership
  • ПтК (Потребительский кооператив)
  • ПрК (Производственный кооператив)
  • РО (Религиозное объединение)
  • Учр (Учреждение)

Korea, SouthEdit

  • 주식회사 or 株式會社 (jusik hoesa): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • 유한회사 or 有限會社 (yuhan hoesa): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • 합자회사 or 合資會社 (hapja hoesa): corporation similar to a limited partnership
  • 합명회사 or 合名會社 (hapmyoung hoesa): corporation similar to a general partnership


  • SIA (Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • AS (Akciju sabiedrība): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • IK (Individuālais komersants)
  • PS (Pilnsabiedrība)
  • KS (Komandītsabiedrība)




  • А.Д. (Акционерско Друштво): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • Д.О.О (Друштво со Ограничена Одговорност): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • К.Д. (Командитно друштво): ≈ limited partnership
  • К.Д.А (Командитно друштво со акции): ≈ limited partnership with shares
  • Ј.Т.Д (Јавно трговско друштво): ≈ General partnership



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

  • S.A.(Sociedad Anónima): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • S. de R.L.(Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • Associates name and "y compañía" or Associates name and "y sucesores"(Sociedad en Nombre Colectivo): ≈ general partnership
  • S. en C. (Sociedad en Comandita Simple): ≈ limited partnership
  • S. en C. por A. (Sociedad en Comandita por Acciones): ≈ master limited partnership

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)

  • S.A.B. (Sociedad Anónima Bursátil)
  • S.A.P.I. (Sociedad Anónima Promotora de Inversion)


  • ХХК (Хязгаарлагдмал Хариуцлагатай Компани): ≈ p.l.c (UK) limited liability company


  • Close Corporation*
  • Companies*
  • Sole Trader*


  • Private Limited Company: Liability, limited by shares; Name, cannot be deceptively similar to another registered company; Management, at least 1 director; Shareholders, limited to 1-50 excluding persons who are employed by company, prohibition against any invitation to the public to subscribe for shares; Founders, 1-50; Nationality, Nepalese company; Company purpose, any lawful purpose except industry on Negative List; Formation, file Memorandum and Articles of Association with Registrar of Companies.
  • Public Limited Company: Liability, limited by shares; Name, cannot be deceptively similar to another registered company; Management, at least 3 directors; Shareholders, minimum 7, no maximum, share subscription by public pursuant to a prospectus that complies with Companies Act of 2007 and Securities Act; a Private Limited Company can convert to Public Limited Company by complying with Companies Act of 2007; Founders, minimum 7; Nationality, Nepalese company; Company purpose, any lawful purpose except industry on Negative List; Formation, file Memorandum and Articles of Association with Registrar of Companies.
  • Branch: Liability, main company remains liable; Name, same as main company; Nationality, foreign company; Company purpose, any lawful purpose except industry on Negative List; Formation, file Memorandum and Articles of Association with Registrar of Companies, plus permission to work in Nepal by concerned authority; Founders, main branch.


  • Coöperatie ("cooperative"), Onderlinge Waarborgmaatschappij ("mutual insurance company"): associations which are allowed to pay dividends to their members; liability may be statutory (W.A. - Wettelijke Aansprakelijkheid), limited (B.A. - Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid) or excluded (U.A. - Uitsluiting van Aansprakelijkheid)
  • N.V. (Naamloze Vennootschap): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). The name means "nameless company". Minimum issued share capital upon incorporation: €45,000.
  • B.V. (Besloten Vennootschap): ≈ Ltd. (UK). The name means "closed company". Minimum issued share capital upon incorporation: €18,000.
  • C.V. (Commanditaire Vennootschap): ≈ limited partnership
  • Maatschap: ≈ limited liability partnership, a professional partnership where the partners are treated as natural persons for tax and liability purposes.
  • V.O.F. (Vennootschap Onder Firma): ≈ general partnership

Corporations are registered with a regional Chamber of Commerce, in the Dutch Trade Register.[2]

New ZealandEdit

  • LTD (Limited): ≈ p.l.c. or Ltd. (UK). All New Zealand limited liability companies must use the suffix LTD. An unlimited liability company may not.


  • Limited (Ltd.): a private company limited by shares
  • Public Limited Company (PLC): a public company limited by shares
  • Limited by Guarantee (Ltd./Gte.): a company limited by guarantee (non-profit company)
  • Unlimited (ULtd.): A company with a share capital, similar to its limited company (Ltd., or PLC.) counterparts, but where the liability of the members or shareholders is not limited.


  • ASA (Allmennaksjeselskap): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum capital NOK 1,000,000
  • AS (Aksjeselskap): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum capital NOK 100,000.
  • ANS (Ansvarlig selskap): general partnership with mutual liability
  • BA (Selskap med begrenset ansvar): cooperatives and companies created by legislatation
  • BL (Borettslag): housing share company
  • DA (Selskap med delt ansvar): general partnership with apportioned liability
  • Enkeltpersonforetak: sole proprietorship
  • Etat: state, county or municipal agency
  • FKF (Fylkeskommunalt foretak): county enterprise
  • HF (helseforetak): subsidiary health enterprise
  • IKS (Interkommunalt selskap): inter-municipal enterprise (owners' liability)
  • KF (Kommunalt foretak): municipal enterprise (owner's liability)
  • KS (Kommandittselskap): ≈ limited partnership
  • NUF (Norskregistrert utenlandsk foretak): foreign enterprise registered in Norway
  • RHF (regionalt helseforetak): regional health enterprise
  • SF (Statsforetak): state enterprise
  • Sparebank: savings bank
  • Stiftelse: a foundation, with capital but without members or shareholders. It is allowed to make a profit, but is more suited for non-commercial purposes.


  • Ltd. (Limited): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • SME Pvt(ltd): Single member company
  • Pvt. Ltd. (Private Limited Company): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • Unlimited company. A company, similar to its limited company (Ltd., or Pvt. Ltd.) counterpart, but where the liability of the members or shareholders is not limited.


registered companies and non-registered companies


Older forms (now rarely used)

  • Cía (Compañía): for partnerships and other forms of business during the Spanish rule
  • SA (Sociedad Anónima): formed under Spanish rule


  • jednoosobowa działalność gospodarcza: sole proprietorship
  • P.P. (Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe): state enterprise (has legal personality)
  • S.A. (spółka akcyjna): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum share capital PLN 50,000 (approx. €12,500).
  • s.c. (spółka cywilna): "civil partnership", not a partnership or a company, but rather an agreement on the sharing of profits, losses and ownership of a business. Can be likened to a voluntary association.
  • S.K.A. (spółka komandytowo-akcyjna): limited partnership with shares. Minimum share capital PLN 50,000 (approx. €12,500).
  • sp.j. (spółka jawna): ≈ general partnership
  • sp.k. (spółka komandytowa): ≈ limited partnership
  • sp.p. (spółka partnerska): ≈ 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 licensed professional listed in the appropriate provision of the Commercial Companies Code. 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. z o.o. (spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum share capital PLN 5,000 (approx. €1,250).
  • Spółdzielnia: ≈ cooperative. Has legal personality. May also be denoted by the word Spółdzielczy in the firm's name.

References: (Polish) Commercial Companies Code of 15 September 2000 (Dz.U. No 94 item 1037 as amended); (Polish) Civil Code of 23 April 1964 (Dz.U. No 16 item 93 as amended); (Polish) Law on Cooperatives of 16 September 1982 (Dz.U. 2003 No 188 item 1848 as amended)


  • CRL (Cooperativa de Responsabilidade Limitada): limited liability cooperative
  • S.A. (Sociedade Anónima): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), and these are further classified as:
    • S.A., Sociedade Aberta: ≈ publicly traded corporation (literally "open company").
    • S.F., Sociedade Fechada: ≈ privately held (closely held) corporation (literally "closed company")
  • Lda. (Limitada): ≈ Ltd. (UK), and these might be:
    • Unipessoal Lda.: single member company (literally: "Unipersonal Ltd.")
  • SGPS (Sociedade Gestora de Participações Sociais): holding corporation (literally "shareholding management company")


  • S.A. (Societate pe Acţiuni): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • S.C.A. (societate în comandită pe acţiuni): limited partnership with shares
  • S.C.S. (societate în comandită simplă): ≈ limited partnership
  • S.N.C. (societate în nume colectiv): ≈ general partnership
  • S.R.L. (societate cu răspundere limitată): ≈ Ltd. (UK)


  • Nekommercheskaya organizatsiya/некоммерческая организация: non-profit organization (there are many types of non-profits in Russia, the type depends on the ownership of the assets)
  • GP/ГП, GUP/ГУП (Gosudarstvennoye unitarnoye predpriyatie/Государственное унитарное предприятие): state (unitary) enterprise
  • IP/ИП (Individualny predprinimatel/Индивидуальный предприниматель): sole proprietorship
  • OOO (Obshchestvo s ogranichennoy otvetstvennostyu/Общество с ограниченной ответственностью): ≈ Ltd. (UK)/ LLC (USA)(maximum 50 "owners of capital" (not shareholders). If there are more 50 "owners of capital", they have a year to transform into a "OAO")
  • OAO (Otkrytoye aktsionernoye obshchestvo/Открытое акционерное общество): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), publicly traded shares (similar to a corporation in the US)
  • kooperativ/кооператив : cooperative (many types, which differ by the type of activity, e.g. agricultural, production, etc.)
  • ZAO/ЗАО (Zakrytoe aktsionernoye obshchestvo/Закрытое акционерное общество): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), privately held shares (similar to a corporation in the US)


  • a.d./a.д. (akcionarsko društvo / aкционарско друштво): ≈ JSC (US)
  • d.o.o./д.о.о. (društvo sa ograničenom odgovornošću / друштво сa ограниченом одговорношћу): ≈ LLC (US)
  • k.d./к.д. (komanditno društvo / командитно друштво): ≈ Limited partnership (UK)
  • o.d./о.д. (ortačko društvo / ортачко друштво): ≈ General partnership (UK)
  • preduzetnik : ≈ Sole proprietorship (UK)


  • LLP (limited liability partnership): owners have the flexibility of operating as a partnership while enjoying limited liability. An LLP can sue and be sued, acquire and hold property, and have a common seal.
  • Ltd/Pte Ltd (private limited company): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Maximum 50 shareholders. There also exist "exempt private companies", being either owned by no more than 20 non-corporate shareholders, or wholly state-owned and designated by the finance minister as exempt.
  • Ltd (public limited company): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). There also exist public companies limited by guarantee, which conduct non-profit activities; the finance minister may approve the registration of such companies without the addition of the word “Limited” or “Berhad” to the name.


  • a.s. (Akciová spoločnosť)): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum share capital SKK 1m (approx. €33,000). Must have a supervisory board in addition to the management board.
  • s.r.o. (Spoločnosť s ručením obmedzeným): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • k.s. (Komanditná spoločnosť): ≈ LLP. or Limited liability partnership (UK). Must have at least one "general partner" with unlimited liability.
  • v.o.s. (Verejná obchodná spoločnosť): ≈ general partnership or unlimited partnership
  • družstvo: ≈ Cooperative


  • d.d. (Delniška družba): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • d.o.o. (Družba z omejeno odgovornostjo): ≈ Ltd. (UK)
  • d.n.o. (Družba z neomejeno odgovornostjo): ≈ Unlimited company (UK)
  • k.d. (Komanditna družba): ≈ LP (UK)
  • s.p. (Samostojni podjetnik): ≈ Sole proprietorship (UK)

South AfricaEdit

  • Sole proprietorship/Alleeneienaar
  • Business trust/Trust
  • Partnership/Vennootskappy
  • Companies/Maatskappe
    • Company limited by guarantee
      • Incorporated association not for gain/vereniging sonder winsoogmerk (section 21 company/artikel 21-maatskappy): ≈ voluntary association.
    • Companies having a share capital
      • Private company/privaat maatskappy: ≈ private limited company (UK), limited liability company (US); has 1–50 shareholders, one or more directors. The name must end "(Pty) Ltd"; registration number ends /07. Registration number and directors' names must appear on all correspondence.
        • Section 53(b) company (unlimited liability company): ≈ professional limited liability company (PLLC) (US)
      • Public company/publieke maatskappy: ≈ public limited company (UK), corporation (US); has at least 7 shareholders (unless it is a wholly owned subsidiary of another company) and at least two directors. The company's name must end in "LTD"; its registration number ends in /06.
  • CC/BK (Close corporation/beslote korporasie): Has 1–10 non-corporate members. The name must end "CC" or "BK"; registration number ends /23. Registration number and members' names must appear on all correspondence.


  • S.A. (Sociedad Anónima): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum capital €60,101.21.
  • S.A.D. (Sociedad Anónima Deportiva). Limited liability sports corporation.
  • S.L. (Sociedad Limitada): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum capital €3,012.
  • S.L.L. (Sociedad Limitada Laboral): "labour limited corporation"
  • S.L.N.E. (Sociedad Limitada Nueva Empresa). Similar to S.L., it was introduced in 2003 to speed up new company registration (registration can be completed in one day). Minimum capital €3,012.
  • S.C. (Sociedad Colectiva), roughly a general partnership
  • S.Cra. (Sociedad Comanditaria), roughly a limited partnership.
  • S.Coop. (Sociedad Cooperativa), a Cooperative, a company that typically is owned and democratically controlled by its workers.


  • AB (Aktiebolag): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum capital SEK 50,000.
  • AB (publ) (Publikt aktiebolag): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum capital SEK 500,000.
  • Ek. för. (Ekonomisk förening): economic association
    • Bostadsrättsförening: home-owners' association
    • Hyresrättsförening: home-renters' association
    • Kooperativ: cooperative
  • Enskild firma: sole proprietorship
  • HB (Handelsbolag): ≈ general partnership
  • KB (Kommanditbolag): ≈ limited partnership
  • Enkelt bolag: Regulated partnership between two parts (Companies or private persons)
  • Ideell förening: non-profit organization
  • Stiftelse: Foundation has capital or property but no members or owners (shareholders)

|| Notes |- ||AG (Aktiengesellschaft)||SA (Société anonyme)||SA (Società anonima)|| ≈ p.l.c. (UK) or Inc. (US). Min. share capital CHF 100,000. Bearer or registered shares, of a par value of min. CHF 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 CHF 20,000. Registered shares only, of a par value of min. CHF 100 each. Name, address and share of each owner (and any changes) publicly recorded in the Official Register of Commerce <>. |}


  • บริษัทมหาชนจำกัด, name format บริษัท corporation name จำกัด (มหาชน): ≈ p.l.c. (UK). Minimum 15 shareholders.
  • บริษัทเอกชนจำกัด (name format บริษัท corporation name จำกัด): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum three shareholders.
  • ห้างหุ้นส่วนจำกัด (name format ห้างหุ้นส่วน corporation name จำกัด): ≈ limited partnership
  • ห้างหุ้นส่วนสามัญนิติบุคคล (name format ห้างหุ้นส่วน corporation name): ≈ general partnership



  • DAT/ДАТ (Державне акціонерне товариство): ≈ p.l.c. (UK), national
  • FOP/ФОП (фізична особа підприємець): sole proprietorship
  • KT (Командитне товариство): ≈ limited partnership
  • PT/ПT (Повне товариство): ≈ general partnership
  • TDV/ТДВ (Товариство з додатковою відповідальністю): "additional liability company"
  • TOV/TOB (Товариство з обмеженою відповідальністю): ≈ Ltd. (UK). Minimum capital UAH 63,000.
  • PP/ПП (Приватне підприємство): ≈ Ltd. (UK). No minimum capital.
  • VAT/ВАТ( Вiдкрите акцiонерне товариство) or PuAT/ПуАТ (Публічне акціонерне товариство) since 29.04.2009: ≈ p.l.c. (UK), public. Minimum capital UAH 630,000.
  • ZAT/ЗАТ (Закрите акцiонерне товариство)or PrAT/ПрАТ (Приватне акціонерне товариство) since 29.04.2009:: ≈ p.l.c. (UK), private.
  • AТ/AТ (Акціонерне товариство): ≈ JSC.

Company formation is regulated by the Ukrainian Civil Code and Commercial Code, Law of Commercial companies, Law of stock companies,law and order.

United KingdomEdit

United StatesEdit

In the United States, the individual states incorporate most businesses. Very few special types are incorporated by the federal government.

For federal tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service has separate entity classification rules. Under the rules, an entity may be classified as a corporation, a partnership or disregarded entity. As a corporation, it may be further classified as either an S corporation or a C corporation.

Federally incorporatedEdit

Many federal governmental units are specially formed public corporations, while some private organizations have received a charter from Congress.

State, Territory or Commonwealth incorporatedEdit

See also corporations law in the United States.

The following are the main business designations and types (corporations and non-corporations):

  • Corp., Inc. (Corporation, Incorporated): used to denote corporations (public or otherwise). These are the only terms universally accepted by all 51 corporation chartering agencies in the United States. However 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. See also Delaware corporation, Nevada corporation, Massachusetts business trust.
  • Doing Business As (DBA): denotes a business name used by a person or entity that is different from the person's or entity's true name. Filing requiments vary and are not permitted for some types of businesses or professional practices.
  • General partnership is a partnership in which all the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the partnership. It is typically created by agreement rather than being created by a public filing.
  • LLC, LC, Ltd. Co. (limited liability company): a form of business whose owners enjoy limited liability, but which is not a corporation. Allowable abbreviations vary by state. Note that 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.
  • LLLP (limited liability limited partnership): a combination of LP and LLP, available in some states
  • LLP (limited liability partnership): 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).
  • LP (limited partnership): a partnership where at least one partner has unlimited liability and one or more partners have limited liability
  • PLLC (professional limited liability company): Some states do not allow certain professionals to form an LLC that would limit the liability that results from the services the professionals provide such as doctors, medical care; lawyers, legal advice; and accountants, accounting services, when the company formed offers the services of the professionals. Instead 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 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 not immune to malpractice suits.
  • Professional corporations (abbreviated as PC or P.C.) are 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.
  • Sole proprietorship: a business consisting of a single owner, not in a separately recognized business form

Required designations for corporations, by U.S. state, territory or commonwealth:

State, Territory or Commonwealth Required in Corporation name Authority
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", 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 for statutory close corporations. 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 characters O.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 words 805 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 corporation" GENERAL 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 language 35-1-308 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 abbreviations Section 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 person 78.035 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 words New 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 others New 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 punctuation Oklahoma 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 English. Pennsylvania 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 characters. Title 14, Subtitle 4, §2602, Laws of Puerto Rico.
Rhode Island "corporation," "company," "incorporated," or "limited," or an abbreviation of one of these words Rhode 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 language South 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 language South 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 "corporation," "company," or "incorporated," or shall contain an abbreviation of one of such words, and shall contain such additional words as may be required by law; shall not contain the word "lottery." Art. 2.05 Business Corporation Act
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 corporation; Title 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


  • S.A. (Sociedad Anónima): ≈ p.l.c. (UK)
  • S.A.F.I. (Sociedad Anónima Financiera de Inversión)
  • S.R.L. (Sociedad Responsabilidad Limitada): ≈ Ltd. (UK)


  • MChJ (Mas'uliyati Cheklangan Jamiyat/Масъулияти Чекланган Жамият): limited liability company


  • TNHH/Cty TNHH (Công ty trách nhiệm hữu hạn): limited liability company
  • CTCP/Cty CTCP (Công Ty Cổ Phần): Joint Stock Company
  • Cty Hợp danh: Limited Partnership
  • Liên doanh: Joint venture
  • Hợp tác xã: Co-operative
  • Tập đoàn: Group.
  • Doanh nghiệp tư nhân: Sole trader


External linksEdit

da:Virksomhedsform de:Rechtsform et:Ettevõtlusvormid es:Tipos de entidad empresarial id:Jenis badan usaha lt:Organizacinė-teisinė forma nl:Rechtsvorm pl:Formy prawne przedsiębiorstw pt:Tipos de empresas ru:Организационно-правовая форма sk:Právna forma sr:Врсте предузећа sh:Vrste preduzeća

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