GLOSSARY

Company definition

What does Company mean?

Company denotes an association of individuals formed together for some common purpose.

The term 'company' is usually associated with a group of people who have joined together for a certain purpose with a more or less permanent character. Under the Companies Act 2006, the term 'company' means a company that has been formed and registered under the Act and is governed by its provisions (and includes companies formed and registered under earlier statutes). Company law recognises an incorporated company has a personality that is separate and distinct from its members and where the company has share capital, from its shareholders. Although there are a large number of different kinds of companies, the bodies corporate include: (1) those incorporated as per a general Act of Parliament which permits incorporation by any body of persons who fulfil certain conditions, e.g. building societies and industrial and provident societies; and (2) public corporations established to perform a special social or economic purpose and are created by royal charter or statute that defines the objects, constitution and powers of the corporation, e.g. British Broadcasting Agency and Office of Communications (OFCOM). Companies, especially those formed under the Companies Acts, typically provide for investment in trade with the intention of producing profits in order to benefit their proprietors: see eg Re a Company (No 00709 of 1992), O'Neill v Phillips [1999] 2 All ER 961 at 966, [1999] 1 WLR 1092 at 1098, HL, per Lord Hoffmann ('a company is an association of persons for an economic purpose, usually entered into with legal advice and some degree of formality'). The basic types of companies include but are not limited to, companies limited by shares which are typically formed for the purposes of trade and profit, companies limited by guarantee which operate on a not-for-profit basis and companies established in the community interest. For community interest companies (which are governed by the provisions of the Companies Acts, subject to the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 Pt 2 (ss 26-63), see the Companies Act 2006 s 6.

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Company is referenced 2 in UK Parliament Acts

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