Legal Dictionary


Legal Definition of company


  1. A legal entity, allowed by legislation, which permits a group of people, as shareholders, to create an organization, which can then focus on per suing set objectives, and empowered with legal rights which are usually only reserved for individuals, such as to sue and be sued, own property, hire employees or loan and borrow money. The primary advantage of a company structure is that it provides the shareholders with a right to participate in the profits (by dividends) without any personal liability (the company absorbs the entire liability of the business).

See also

Definition of company



    Old French compaignie "companionship" (French: compagnie), possibly from Late Latin *compania, but this word is not attested. Old French compaignie is equivalent to Old French compaignon (Modern French: compagnon) + -ie.


company (plural companies)

  1. A group of individuals with a common purpose, as in a company of actors.
  2. In legal context, an entity that manufactures or sells products (also known as goods), or provides services as a commercial venture. A corporation.
  3. In non-legal context, any business, without respect to incorporation.
  4. Social visitors.

    Keep the house clean, I have company coming.

  5. companionship

    I treasure your company.

  6. A military unit, typically consisting of two or three platoons.

    The Boys in Company C.

  7. A unit of firefighters and their equipment.

    It took six companies to put out the fire.

  8. (nautical) The entire crew of a ship.
  9. (idiomatic) Nickname for an intelligence service.

    As he had worked for the CIA for over 30 years, he would soon take retirement from the company.


Related terms

  • accompany
  • companion
  • discompany

Further reading

A company is a form of business organization.

A company is an incorporated association, which is an artificial person created by law, having a separate legal entity, with a perpetual succession & a common seal.

In the United States, a company is a corporation-or, less commonly, an association, partnership, or union-that carries on an industrial enterprise."[1] Generally, a company may be a "corporation, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, fund, or organized group of persons, whether incorporated or not, and (in an official capacity) any receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, or similar official, or liquidating agent, for any of the foregoing."

In English law, and therefore in the Commonwealth realms, a company is a form of body corporate or corporation, generally registered under the Companies Acts or similar legislation. It does not include a partnership or any other unincorporated group of persons.


  1. Wiktionary. Published under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.


1.     lex fori
2.     landed property
3.     salacious
4.     lex situs
5.     lex causae
6.     violent crime
7.     conscionable
8.     family court
9.     leasing
10.     public liability