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Company Types - Extensions

Ext. Country Description
A. en P. Mexico Asociación en Participación. Joint venture
AB Sweden Aktiebolag. Stock company - can be publicly traded or privately held. In Sweden, privately-held AB's must have capital of at least SEK 100,000 upon incorporation. AB's are also required to allocate at least 10% of the profits for reserves per year until reserves are at least 20% of the start-up capital. Publicly-traded AB's in Sweden must have capital of at least SEK 500,000. There must be at least three board members for Swedish AB's. An Annual General Meeting is required. AB's are registered with the Patents and Registration Office (Patent- och Registreringsverket, or PRV). The Swedish automobile and aircraft manufacturer SAAB is actually an acronym - Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget. Aktiebolaget is sometimes used instead of Aktiebolag, since the definite article is appended to the end of the word in Swedish (Aktiebolaget means THE stock company whereas Aktiebolag means just Stock Company).
AB Finland Aktiebolag. In Finland, many companies use both this Swedish abbreviation and the Finnish language Oy designation, since Finland is a bilingual country. In Finland, an AB is only private (Apb is the public equivalent).
A.C. Mexico Asociación Civil Civil Association of a non-commercial nature.
ACE Portugal Agrupamento Complementar de Empresas. Association of businesses
AD Bulgaria Aktionierno drushestwo. Limited Liability company, can be publicly-traded.
AE Greece Anonymos Etairia. Limited company. Must have a board of three to nine members.
AG Austria Aktiengesellschaft. Translates to "stock corporation". Minimum share capital is ATS 1 million. Par value of each share must be ATS 100, ATS 500, or a multiple of ATS 1,000. As in Germany, an Austrian AG must have both a Vorstand and an Aufsichtsrat.
AG Germany Aktiengesellschaft. Translates to "stock corporation." In Germany, all publicly traded companies are AG's, but not all AG's are publicly traded. AG's have two sets of boards -- the Vorstand, which usually consists of the CEO, CFO and other top management, and an Aufsichtsrat, which translates to "supervisory board," which has the function of overseeing management and representing the shareholders. German law prohibits individuals from being members of both boards.
AG Switzerland Aktiengesellschaft. Translates to "stock corporation." In Switzerland, AG's must have at least CHF 100,000 share capital, and each share must be at least CHF 100 par value. When a Swiss entity registers as an AG, 3% of the capital must be paid to the authorities as a Tax. There must be three shareholders (although they can be nominees). A Swiss AG must have at least one director who is a Swiss resident and citizen. An annual audit is required, and an annual directors meeting and shareholders meetings must be held in Switzerland.
AL Norway Andelslag. Co-operative society. - Note: this was formerly written as A.L. and A/L.
AmbA Denmark Andelsselskab.
ANS Norway Ansvarlig selskap. Trading partnership.
Apb Finland Publikt Aktiebolag. Public limited company. This is the Swedish language equivalent to the more commonly used Oyj in Finland. Finland is technically bilingual, so this could be used, but is not likely.
ApS Denmark Anpartsselskab. Limited liability corporation, required minimum share capital of DKK 200,000.
ApS & Co. K/S Denmark Similar to a K/S, but the entity with unlimited liability is a company (ApS) instead of an individual.
AS Norway Aksjeselskap, translates to "stock company,". In Norway, publicly traded companies now use the ASA notation, and no longer use this notation. Private companies still use this in Norway. An A/S requires minimum share capital of NOK 100,000, of which at least 50% must be paid up at incorporation.
A/S Denmark Aktieselskap, translates to "stock company", and gives the owners limited liability. Danish companies require minimum share capital of DKK 500,000.
A.S. Czech Rep. akciova spolecnost. Joint stock company. Owners have limited liability. Share capital must be at least CZK 1 million. The company must put at least 20% of the capital into a reserve fund, which is funded by after-tax profits. The accounts must be audited annually. There must be at least three members on the board of directors, and each member must be a Czech citizen or resident.
A.S. Estonia Aktsiaselts, Joint Stock company.
A.S. Slovakia Akciova Spolocnost, Joint stock company
A.S. Turkey Anonim Sirket, a limited liability company
ASA Norway Allmennaksjeselskap. Stock company. This acronym was chosen because Aas is a very common surname in Norway, which might have created some confusion. Since 1996, all publicly traded Norwegian companies are now incorporated in this legal structure, but not all ASA's are publicly traded.

B

Ext. Country Description
Bpk South Africa Beperk
Bt Hungary Betiti társaság. Limited liability partnership.
B.V. Belgium Besloten Vennootschap. Limited liability company.
B.V. Netherlands Besloten Vennootschap. Limited liability company. Capital of at least 40,000 NLG is required to start at BV.
B.V. Neth. Ants. Besloten Vennootschap. Limited liability company. Many companies incorporated in the Netherlands Antilles are merely shells created for tax purposes.
BVBA Belgium Besloten Vennootschap met Beperkte Aansprakelijkheid Flemish language equivalent of the SPRL. Means that the company is a private limited company. Capital must be at least BEF 750,000, with at least BEF 250,000 paid up.

C

Ext. Country Description
CA Ecuador compania anonima
C.V. Netherlands Commanditaire Vennootschap. Limited Partnership. One partner must have unlimited liability, and the others can have limited liability.
CVA Belgium Commanditaire Vennootschap op Aandelen. Limited partnership with shares. Flemish language equivalent to the French language SCA
CVoA Netherlands Commanditaire Vennootschap op Andelen. Limited Partnership, with shares

D

Ext. Country Description
DA Norway Selskap med delt ansar. Limited Partnership
d.d. Croatia dionicko drustvo. Joint stock company.
d.d. Slovenia Delniska druzba. Stock company -- all publicly traded companies must have this structure. Must have capital of SIT 3 million, and each share must have par value of SIT 1,000. Minimum of five shareholders.
d.n.o. Slovenia Druzba z neomejeno odgovornostjo. Partnership - all partners have unlimited liability.
d.o.o. Croatia drustvo s ogranicenom odgovornoscu. Limited Liability company.
d.o.o. Slovenia Druzba z omejeno odgovornostjo. Limited Liability company. Must have a share capital of at least SIT 1.5 million, and each partner must invest at least SIT 10,000.

E

Ext. Country Description
EE Greece Eterrorrythmos. Limited liability partnership.
EEG Austria Eingetragene Erwerbsgesellschaft Professional Partnership
EIRL Peru Empresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada. Personal business with limited liability.
ELP Bahamas Exempted Limited Partnership. Has one or more limited partners, and one general partner, which must be a resident of the Bahamas or a company incorporated in the Bahamas. Cannot conduct business in the Bahamas, but may conduct business elsewhere.
EPE Greece Etairia periorismenis evthinis. Limited liability company.
eurl France Enterprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabilité Limitée. Sole proprietorship with limited liability.
e.V. Germany eingetragener Verein. Non profit society/association.

G

Ext. Country Description
GbR Germany Gesellschaft burgerlichen Rechts. Partnership without a legal name. Mainly used for non-commercial purposes. Partners have full liability.
GCV Belgium Gewone Commanditaire Vennootschap. Limited Partnership. The Flemish language equivalent to the French language SCS.
GesmbH Austria See GmbH. This abbreviation is only used in Austria (not Germany or Switzerland).
GIE France Groupement d'intéret économique
GmbH & Co. KG Germany Like a KG, but the entity with unlimited liability is a GmbH instead of a person. (See the KG entry for more information).
GmbH Austria Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung. Translates to "Company with limited liability." In Austria, this is often GesmbH, although this abbreviation is not used in Germany or Switzerland. In Austria, there must be at least two founding shareholders of a GmbH. Minimum share capital is ATS 500,000, and at least half of this must be raised in cash. Minimum par value is ATS 1,000 per share. If an Austrian GmbH controls companies with 300 or more employees, or if the company has more than 300 employees itself, there must be a supervisory board, which must be at least three members, one of whom represents the workers.
GmbH Germany Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung. Translates to "Company with limited liability." In Germany, a GmbH means that the company is incorporated, but it is not publicly traded (as public companies must be AG's). GmbH's are essentially partnerships without a legal name, and there must be at least two partners.
GmbH Switzerland Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung. Translates to "Company with limited liability." In Switzerland, a GmbH cannot have shares, and the owners of the company are entered into the commercial registry. Nominees can be used for anonymity.

H

Ext. Country Description
HB Sweden Handelsbolag. Trading Partnership
hf Iceland Hlutafelag. Limited liability company.

I

Ext. Country Description
IBC Various
International Business Company. Used for offshore companies, in places such as Belize, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc.
Inc USA Means a company is Incorporated, and the owners have limited liability. In the United States, companies can be registered in any of the 50 states -- many of the bigger corporations are registered in Delaware due to various regulations. Florida, Nevada and Wyoming are also popular. Incorporation in the United States is very easy, and can be done for minimal fees.
Inc Canada Incorporated. Limited liability
I/S Denmark Interessentskab. Used in Denmark. General partnership; all partners have unlimited liability.

J

Ext. Country Description
j.t.d. Croatia javno trgovacko drustvo. Unlimited liability company.

K

Ext. Country Description
KA/S Denmark Kommanditaktieselskab. Limited partnership with share capital
Kb Sweden Kommanditbolag. Limited partnership. There must be at least one partner with unlimited liability, although some partners can have limited liability. In Sweden, all Kommanditbolags must be registered with the Patents and Trademark Office. Annual reports must be filed annually, and if there are more than 10 employees, then the annual accounts must be audited, and if there are more than 200 employees, the annual reports must be filed with the Patents and Trademark office.
Kb Finland Kommanditbolag. Limited partnership. This is a Swedish term, and since Finland is technically bilingual, this abbreviation can be used there, although the Ky designation is more common.
KD Bulgaria Komanditno drushestwo. Partnership
k.d. Croatia komanditno drustvo. Limited Partnership.
k.d. Slovenia Komanditna druzba. Limited Partnership -- there must be at least one limited partner and one unlimited partner.
KDA Bulgaria Komanditno drushestwo s akzii. Partnership with shares.
k.d.d. Slovenia Komanditna delniska druzba. Limited Partnership with shares.
Kft Hungary korlátolt felelösségû társaság. Limited liability company. Similar to the German GmbH, this type of company offers limited liability, although the shares cannot trade publicly. Requires only one shareholder. Minimum share capital is HUF 1 million.
KG Austria Kommanditgesellschaft. A partnership under a legal name. There must be two partners, at least one limited and at least one unlimited partner. The limited partner's liability is listed in the commercial register.
KG Germany Kommanditgesellschaft. A partnership under a legal name. There must be two partners, at least one limited and at least one unlimited.
KGaA Germany Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien. A Limited Partnership that has shares.
KK Japan Kabushiki Kaishi. Joint Stock Company
Kkt Hungary közkereseti társaság, General Partnership. All partners have unlimited liability.
Kol. SrK Turkey Kollektiv Sirket. Unlimited liability partnership.
Kom. SrK Turkey Komandit Sirket. Limited liability partnership.
k.s. Czech Republic komanditni spolecnost. Limited partnership. One partner must have unlimited liability, although other partners can carry limited liability.
K/S Denmark Kommanditselskab. Limited partnership: at least one partner has unlimited liability and at least one partner has limited liability.
KS Norway Kommandittselskap. Limited partnership: at least one partner has unlimited liability and at least one partner has limited liability.
Kv Hungary Közös vállalat. Joint Venture
Ky Finland Kommandiittiyhtiö. Limited Partnership.

L

Ext. Country Description
Lda Portugal Sociedade por Quotas Limitada. Must have at least two shareholders, and paid-up capital of at least 400,000 Escudos.
LDC Bahamas Limited Duration Company. A company, but it has a life of 30 years or less. Sometimes, these companies can be classified as partnerships in the United States.
LLC USA Limited Liability Company. Most states require there to be two people to incorporate a LLC, but some states allow only one. An LLC has limited liability and unlimited life. In the United States, Corporations typically pay taxes, then distribute the profits via dividends, and the recipients must pay taxes on the dividends. An LLC allows for pass through taxation, which means that the income a company makes goes directly to the owners on their tax forms (even if the profits were not distributed).
LLP USA & UK Limited Liability Partnership.
Ltd UK & Various Limited. Used in the UK and many former British colonies, as well as in other countries such as Japan. This can also be used in the United States, and has the same meaning as Inc.
Ltda Brazil Sociedade por Quotas de Responsabiliadade Limitada. Means the owners have limited liability.

N

Ext. Country Description
NT Canada iNTermediary. Indicates that a company is a financial intermediary. However, companies are not required to use this abbreviation in their name if they are a financial intermediary -- it's merely a description.
NV Netherlands Naamloze Vennootschap. All publicly traded Dutch companies are NV's, but not all NV's are publicly traded. Dutch NV's require 100,000 NLG share capital or more.
NV Belgium Naamloze Vennootschap. This is Flemish (Dutch): In Belgium, many companies use both NV and SA (the French language equivalent).
NV Neth. Ants. Naamloze Vennootschap. In the Netherlands Antilles, many foreign companies establish subsidiaries to shelter taxes.

O

Ext. Country Description
ocD Bulgaria Drushestwo s orgranitschena otgowornost. Limited liability company, privately-held.
OE Greece Omorrythmos. Partnership. All partners have unlimited liability.
OHG Austria Offene Handelsgesellschaft. Partnership, with at least two partners. Partners have unlimited liability.
OHG Germany Offene Handelsgesellschaft. Partnership with a legal name, and must have at least two partners. Partners have unlimited liability.
Estonia Osaühing. Private limited liability company. Minimum capital of EEK 10,000. (This will be raised to EEK 40,000 in 1999). This type of company doesn't trade on the stock exchange (as those are of the AS variety).
Oy Finland Osakeyhtiö. All corporations in Finland used to have this legal structure, although now, publicly traded companies will be OYJ (julkinen osakeyhtiö).
OYJ Finland julkinen osakeyhtiö. Used by publicly-traded companies in Finland.

P

Ext. Country Description
P/L Australia Pty. Ltd. Proprietary Limited Company.
PC Ltd Australia Public Company Limited by Shares
PLC Various Public Limited Company. Used in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere. In the UK, a PLC must have at least £50,000 in authorised capital, with £12,500 paid up.
PMA Indonesia Penenaman Modal Asing. Foreign joint venture company.
PMDN Indonesia Penanaman Modal Dalam Negeri. Domestic Capital investment company
PrC Ireland Private Company limited by shares.
PT Indonesia Perseroan Terbuka. Limited liability company.
Pty. Various Stands for Proprietary. Used in South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.

R

Ext. Country Description
RAS Estonia Riiklik Aktsiaselts. State (owned) Joint Stock company.
Rt Hungary Részvénytársaság. Stock Company. All Hungarian publicly-traded companies are incorporated via this structure. However, an Rt doesn't necessarily mean that a company is publicly traded, and Rt companies may have as few as one shareholder. However, there are three board members required. Minimum share capital is HUF 10 million.

S

Ext. Country Description
S. de R.L. Mexico Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada. Limited Partnership
S. en C. Colombia & Peru Sociedad en Comandita. Limited Partnership
S. en N.C. Mexico Sociedad en Nombre Colectivo. General Partnership
S/A Brazil Sociedades Anônimas. In Brazil, there must be at least two shareholders of an S/A.
SA Belgium Société Anonyme, the Dutch language equivalent is NV. Initial capital must be BEF 2.5 million, and must be fully paid up upon incorporation.
SA France Société Anonyme.
SA Greece Société Anonyme. A Greek SA must have share capital of GRD 10 million.
sa Italy Societá in accomandita per azioni. Limited partnership with shares.
SA Luxembourg Société Anonyme. There is a minimum of two shareholders, and a minimum share capital of LUF 1.25 million.
SA Mexico sociedad anónima. Mexican SA's require a minimum capital of N$50,000. At least 20% of this must be paid-up at the time of incorporation. There is a minimum of 2 shareholders, but no maximum. Ordinary shareholder meetings can be called with 1/2 of the shares voting, and extraordinary meetings require a 3/4 vote. Shareholder meetings must take place in the city where the company is located, but board meetings can be abroad. 5% of annual profits must be allocated to a reserve until the reserve totals 20% of the capital. For more detailed information, see
SA Morocco Société Anonyme. SA's must have at least seven shareholders and a share capital of at least 10,000 dirhams, with each share having a minimum par value of 1000 dirhams.
SA Poland Spolka Akcyjna. Stock company
SA Portugal Sociedad Anónima. Share capital minimum of PTE 5 million, and a minimum par value of PTE 1000 per share. There is a minimum of 5 shareholders. Companies are registered in the Commercial Registry.
SA Romania societate pe actiuni. Limited liability company, can be publicly traded. Can be incorporated by one or more shareholders (but not more than 50) and must have a minimum capital of RL 2 million (about $100.00). At present, capital contributed by a foreign investor is converted to lei at the prevailing market exchange rate in effect at the time the capital is contributed for accounting purposes only. Companies may maintain bank accounts in foreign currency. The registered capital is divided into equal shares whose value cannot be less than RL 100,000 (about $5.00) each.
S.A. Brazil Sociedade por Ações. Privately-held company
SA de CV Mexico In Mexico, SA's can have either fixed or variable capital; this abbreviation is used for those with variable capital.
SAFI Uruguay Sociedad Anonima Financiera de Inversion. Offshore company.
S.A.I.C.A. Venezuela Sociedad Anónima Inscrita de Capital Abierto. Open Capital Company
SApA Italy Societa in Accomandita per Azioni.
Sàrl France société à responsabilité limitée. Used in France and other French speaking countries. Private company.
Sàrl Luxembourg société à responsabilité limitée. Private company -- must have share capital of at least LUF 500,000, and 100% must be paid up on formation. Requires a minimum of one director and two shareholders.
SAS Italy Societá in Accomandita Semplice. Limited Partnership.
SC France Société civile. Partnership with full liability.
SC Poland Spólka prawa cywilnego. Partnership with all partners having unlimited liability.
S.C. Spain sociedad en commandita. General Partnership.
SCA Belgium Societe en commandite par actions. Limited partnership with share capital.
SCA Romania societate in còmandita pe actiuni. Limited liability partnership with shares.
SCP Brazil Sociedade em Conta de Participacão. This is a partnership where there is one partner assumed responsible for running the business, etc. The other partners, however, carry liability. The other partners do not have to be revealed, however.
SCS Belgium & France Societe en Commandite Simple.
S.C.S. Brazil Sociedade em Comandita Simples. Limited Partnership
SCS Romania societate in comandita simpla. Limited liability partnership.
Sdn Bhd   Sendirian Berhad. Limited Liability Company.
SENC Luxembourg Société en Nom Collectif. General Partnership
SGPS Portugal Sociedade gestora de participações socialis. Holding Enterprise.
SK Poland Spólka komandytowa. Limited liability partnership.
SNC France société en nom collectif. General Partnership
SNC Italy Società in Nome Collettivo. General Partnership.
SNC Romania societate in nume colectiv. General Partnership.
SNC Spain General Partnership
SoParFi Luxembourg Société de Participation Financiére. Holding company.
sp France Societe en participation.
SpA Italy Società per Azioni. Limited share company.
spol s.r.o. Czech Rep. spolecnost s rucenim omezenym, limited liability company. This type of company cannot trade on the stock exchange, but owners have limited liability up to their unpaid deposits. This type of company must have share capital of at least CZK 100,000, and each shareholder must contribute at least CZK 20,000. A reserve fund of at least 10% of the share capital must be created from the profits. There is a maximum of 50 shareholders. Directors must be Czech citizens or residents. An annual audit is usually not required.
SPRL Belgium Société Privée à Responsabilité Limitée. French language equivalent to BVBA -- see that definition for more information.
Sp. z.o.o. Poland Spólka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia. Limited liability company, privately-held.
Srl Chile Sociedad de responsabilidad limitada, Limited Liability company
Srl Italy Società a Responsabilità Limitata, limited liability company.
Srl Mexico Sociedad de responsabilidad limitada, and this type of company is really not that common in Mexico. A minimum of N$3,000 is required.
Srl Romania societate cu raspondere limitata. Limited-liability company, privately-held. Can be incorporated by one or more shareholders (but not more than 50) and must have a minimum capital of RL 2 million (about $100.00). At present, capital contributed by a foreign investor is converted to lei at the prevailing market exchange rate in effect at the time the capital is contributed for accounting purposes only. Companies may maintain bank accounts in foreign currency. The registered capital is divided into equal shares whose value cannot be less than RL 100,000 (about $5.00) each.
Srl Spain Sociedad Regular Colectiva

T

Ext. Country Description
td Slovenia Tiha druzba. Sole proprietorship.
TLS Turkey Türk Limited Sirket. Private Limited Liability Company

V

Ext. Country Description
VOF Netherlands Vennootschap onder firma. General partnership.
v.o.s. Czech Rep verejna obchodni spolecnost. General partnership. Partners are fully liable.