Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In UK law, a company is an artificial legal person with a separate identity from its members. Its directors, stockholders and employees are connected to the company by a network of contracts, but, in law, the company is regarded as separate from them. Incorporated companies normally have limited liability - their shareholders and directors are not normally responsible for the company's debts beyond the amount they paid for their shares. A minimum of two people are required to form a company, usually one director and one secretary . Both directors and secretaries can be either individuals or corporate entities, and there are almost no nationality and residence restrictions, although there must be an office within the UK, registered with Companies House. The most important legislation governing company law is found in the Companies Act 1985 and to a lesser extent the Companies Act 1989 .
In US law, a company is any group of people united to pursue a common interest. This term in general is synonymous with association, but more often it is used specifically to identify for-profit associations, such as the partnership, the joint-stock company, and the for-profit corporation.
In most jurisdictions, companies are bound by law to maximise value for their shareholders, meaning they can only consider other stakeholders if doing so would create value for their shareholders, or if their shareholders vote to accept reduced profits to pursue some wider objective. In practice, major listed corporations are controlled by investment banks who, in turn, are under an obligation to maximise value for their investors, and listed corporations are obliged to maximise their profits at the expense of other stakeholders. This aspect of the company form has been widely criticised for forcing companies to put profits before people.
- Company Law Reform
- Hoover's Online
- Lists of companies
- Types of companies
- Public limited company (PLC)
- Private limited company
- Unlimited company
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)
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