Company Types – Extensions

A. en P.MexicoAsociación en Participación. Joint venture
ABSwedenAktiebolag. 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).
ABFinlandAktiebolag. 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.MexicoAsociación Civil Civil Association of a non-commercial nature.
ACEPortugalAgrupamento Complementar de Empresas. Association of businesses
ADBulgariaAktionierno drushestwo. Limited Liability company, can be publicly-traded.
AEGreeceAnonymos Etairia. Limited company. Must have a board of three to nine members.
AGAustriaAktiengesellschaft. 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.
AGGermanyAktiengesellschaft. 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.
AGSwitzerlandAktiengesellschaft. 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.
ALNorwayAndelslag. Co-operative society. – Note: this was formerly written as A.L. and A/L.
ANSNorwayAnsvarlig selskap. Trading partnership.
ApbFinlandPublikt 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.
ApSDenmarkAnpartsselskab. Limited liability corporation, required minimum share capital of DKK 200,000.
ApS & Co. K/SDenmarkSimilar to a K/S, but the entity with unlimited liability is a company (ApS) instead of an individual.
ASNorwayAksjeselskap, 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/SDenmarkAktieselskap, 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.EstoniaAktsiaselts, Joint Stock company.
A.S.SlovakiaAkciova Spolocnost, Joint stock company
A.S.TurkeyAnonim Sirket, a limited liability company
ASANorwayAllmennaksjeselskap. 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.


BpkSouth AfricaBeperk
BtHungaryBetiti társaság. Limited liability partnership.
B.V.BelgiumBesloten Vennootschap. Limited liability company.
B.V.NetherlandsBesloten 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.
BVBABelgiumBesloten 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.


CAEcuadorcompania anonima
C.V.NetherlandsCommanditaire Vennootschap. Limited Partnership. One partner must have unlimited liability, and the others can have limited liability.
CVABelgiumCommanditaire Vennootschap op Aandelen. Limited partnership with shares. Flemish language equivalent to the French language SCA
CVoANetherlandsCommanditaire Vennootschap op Andelen. Limited Partnership, with shares


DANorwaySelskap med delt ansar. Limited Partnership
d.d.Croatiadionicko drustvo. Joint stock company.
d.d.SloveniaDelniska 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.SloveniaDruzba z neomejeno odgovornostjo. Partnership – all partners have unlimited liability.
d.o.o.Croatiadrustvo s ogranicenom odgovornoscu. Limited Liability company.
d.o.o.SloveniaDruzba 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.


EEGreeceEterrorrythmos. Limited liability partnership.
EEGAustriaEingetragene Erwerbsgesellschaft Professional Partnership
EIRLPeruEmpresa Individual de Responsabilidad Limitada. Personal business with limited liability.
ELPBahamasExempted 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.
EPEGreeceEtairia periorismenis evthinis. Limited liability company.
eurlFranceEnterprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabilité Limitée. Sole proprietorship with limited liability.
e.V.Germanyeingetragener Verein. Non profit society/association.


GbRGermanyGesellschaft burgerlichen Rechts. Partnership without a legal name. Mainly used for non-commercial purposes. Partners have full liability.
GCVBelgiumGewone Commanditaire Vennootschap. Limited Partnership. The Flemish language equivalent to the French language SCS.
GesmbHAustriaSee GmbH. This abbreviation is only used in Austria (not Germany or Switzerland).
GIEFranceGroupement d’intéret économique
GmbH & Co. KGGermanyLike a KG, but the entity with unlimited liability is a GmbH instead of a person. (See the KG entry for more information).
GmbHAustriaGesellschaft 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.
GmbHGermanyGesellschaft 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.
GmbHSwitzerlandGesellschaft 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.


HBSwedenHandelsbolag. Trading Partnership
hfIcelandHlutafelag. Limited liability company.


International Business Company. Used for offshore companies, in places such as Belize, Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, etc.
IncUSAMeans 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.
IncCanadaIncorporated. Limited liability
I/SDenmarkInteressentskab. Used in Denmark. General partnership; all partners have unlimited liability.


j.t.d.Croatiajavno trgovacko drustvo. Unlimited liability company.


KA/SDenmarkKommanditaktieselskab. Limited partnership with share capital
KbSwedenKommanditbolag. 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.
KbFinlandKommanditbolag. 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.
KDBulgariaKomanditno drushestwo. Partnership
k.d.Croatiakomanditno drustvo. Limited Partnership.
k.d.SloveniaKomanditna druzba. Limited Partnership — there must be at least one limited partner and one unlimited partner.
KDABulgariaKomanditno drushestwo s akzii. Partnership with shares.
k.d.d.SloveniaKomanditna delniska druzba. Limited Partnership with shares.
KftHungarykorlátolt 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.
KGAustriaKommanditgesellschaft. 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.
KGGermanyKommanditgesellschaft. A partnership under a legal name. There must be two partners, at least one limited and at least one unlimited.
KGaAGermanyKommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien. A Limited Partnership that has shares.
KKJapanKabushiki Kaishi. Joint Stock Company
KktHungaryközkereseti társaság, General Partnership. All partners have unlimited liability.
Kol. SrKTurkeyKollektiv Sirket. Unlimited liability partnership.
Kom. SrKTurkeyKomandit Sirket. Limited liability partnership.
k.s.Czech Republickomanditni spolecnost. Limited partnership. One partner must have unlimited liability, although other partners can carry limited liability.
K/SDenmarkKommanditselskab. Limited partnership: at least one partner has unlimited liability and at least one partner has limited liability.
KSNorwayKommandittselskap. Limited partnership: at least one partner has unlimited liability and at least one partner has limited liability.
KvHungaryKözös vállalat. Joint Venture
KyFinlandKommandiittiyhtiö. Limited Partnership.


LdaPortugalSociedade por Quotas Limitada. Must have at least two shareholders, and paid-up capital of at least 400,000 Escudos.
LDCBahamasLimited 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.
LLCUSALimited 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).
LLPUSA & UKLimited Liability Partnership.
LtdUK & VariousLimited. 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.
LtdaBrazilSociedade por Quotas de Responsabiliadade Limitada. Means the owners have limited liability.


NTCanadaiNTermediary. 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.
NVNetherlandsNaamloze 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.
NVBelgiumNaamloze Vennootschap. This is Flemish (Dutch): In Belgium, many companies use both NV and SA (the French language equivalent).
NVNeth. Ants.Naamloze Vennootschap. In the Netherlands Antilles, many foreign companies establish subsidiaries to shelter taxes.


ocDBulgariaDrushestwo s orgranitschena otgowornost. Limited liability company, privately-held.
OEGreeceOmorrythmos. Partnership. All partners have unlimited liability.
OHGAustriaOffene Handelsgesellschaft. Partnership, with at least two partners. Partners have unlimited liability.
OHGGermanyOffene Handelsgesellschaft. Partnership with a legal name, and must have at least two partners. Partners have unlimited liability.
EstoniaOsaühing. 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).
OyFinlandOsakeyhtiö. All corporations in Finland used to have this legal structure, although now, publicly traded companies will be OYJ (julkinen osakeyhtiö).
OYJFinlandjulkinen osakeyhtiö. Used by publicly-traded companies in Finland.


P/LAustraliaPty. Ltd. Proprietary Limited Company.
PC LtdAustraliaPublic Company Limited by Shares
PLCVariousPublic 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.
PMAIndonesiaPenenaman Modal Asing. Foreign joint venture company.
PMDNIndonesiaPenanaman Modal Dalam Negeri. Domestic Capital investment company
PrCIrelandPrivate Company limited by shares.
PTIndonesiaPerseroan Terbuka. Limited liability company.
Pty.VariousStands for Proprietary. Used in South Africa, Australia and elsewhere.


RASEstoniaRiiklik Aktsiaselts. State (owned) Joint Stock company.
RtHungaryRészvénytársaság. 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. de R.L.MexicoSociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada. Limited Partnership
S. en C.Colombia & PeruSociedad en Comandita. Limited Partnership
S. en N.C.MexicoSociedad en Nombre Colectivo. General Partnership
S/ABrazilSociedades Anônimas. In Brazil, there must be at least two shareholders of an S/A.
SABelgiumSociété Anonyme, the Dutch language equivalent is NV. Initial capital must be BEF 2.5 million, and must be fully paid up upon incorporation.
SAFranceSociété Anonyme.
SAGreeceSociété Anonyme. A Greek SA must have share capital of GRD 10 million.
saItalySocietá in accomandita per azioni. Limited partnership with shares.
SALuxembourgSociété Anonyme. There is a minimum of two shareholders, and a minimum share capital of LUF 1.25 million.
SAMexicosociedad 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
SAMoroccoSociété 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.
SAPolandSpolka Akcyjna. Stock company
SAPortugalSociedad 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.
SARomaniasocietate 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.BrazilSociedade por Ações. Privately-held company
SA de CVMexicoIn Mexico, SA’s can have either fixed or variable capital; this abbreviation is used for those with variable capital.
SAFIUruguaySociedad Anonima Financiera de Inversion. Offshore company.
S.A.I.C.A.VenezuelaSociedad Anónima Inscrita de Capital Abierto. Open Capital Company
SApAItalySocieta in Accomandita per Azioni.
SàrlFrancesociété à responsabilité limitée. Used in France and other French speaking countries. Private company.
SàrlLuxembourgsociété 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.
SASItalySocietá in Accomandita Semplice. Limited Partnership.
SCFranceSociété civile. Partnership with full liability.
SCPolandSpólka prawa cywilnego. Partnership with all partners having unlimited liability.
S.C.Spainsociedad en commandita. General Partnership.
SCABelgiumSociete en commandite par actions. Limited partnership with share capital.
SCARomaniasocietate in còmandita pe actiuni. Limited liability partnership with shares.
SCPBrazilSociedade 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.
SCSBelgium & FranceSociete en Commandite Simple.
S.C.S.BrazilSociedade em Comandita Simples. Limited Partnership
SCSRomaniasocietate in comandita simpla. Limited liability partnership.
Sdn BhdSendirian Berhad. Limited Liability Company.
SENCLuxembourgSociété en Nom Collectif. General Partnership
SGPSPortugalSociedade gestora de participações socialis. Holding Enterprise.
SKPolandSpólka komandytowa. Limited liability partnership.
SNCFrancesociété en nom collectif. General Partnership
SNCItalySocietà in Nome Collettivo. General Partnership.
SNCRomaniasocietate in nume colectiv. General Partnership.
SNCSpainGeneral Partnership
SoParFiLuxembourgSociété de Participation Financiére. Holding company.
spFranceSociete en participation.
SpAItalySocietà 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.
SPRLBelgiumSociété Privée à Responsabilité Limitée. French language equivalent to BVBA — see that definition for more information.
Sp. z.o.o.PolandSpólka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia. Limited liability company, privately-held.
SrlChileSociedad de responsabilidad limitada, Limited Liability company
SrlItalySocietà a Responsabilità Limitata, limited liability company.
SrlMexicoSociedad de responsabilidad limitada, and this type of company is really not that common in Mexico. A minimum of N$3,000 is required.
SrlRomaniasocietate 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.
SrlSpainSociedad Regular Colectiva


tdSloveniaTiha druzba. Sole proprietorship.
TLSTurkeyTürk Limited Sirket. Private Limited Liability Company


VOFNetherlandsVennootschap onder firma. General partnership.
v.o.s.Czech Repverejna obchodni spolecnost. General partnership. Partners are fully liable.
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