While U.S. companies are usually followed by \"Inc.\" or \"Ltd\"..., many foreign companies have different endings.
The following site tells what these terms mean, and where they are used. If you don\'t know what country a company is based in, this might help narrow it down a little bit.
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 registed 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.
a.d. Macedonia ???
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\'s in Germany require a minimum of DM 100,000 share capital and at least five shareholders at incorporation. Minimum par value for shares is DM 50.
AG Switz. 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, but recent financial law reform has dictated that periods and slashes should no longer be used.
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,\" and gives owners limited liability. Sometimes, Norwegian companies use the notation AS or A.S. due to a recent spelling reform. 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.
Note: this was formerly written as A.S. and A/S, but recent financial law reform has dictated that periods and slashes should no longer be used.
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.
Note: this was formerly written as A.S.A. and A/S/A, but recent financial law reform has dictated that periods and slashes should no longer be used.
AVV Aruba Aruba Vrijgestelde Vennootschap. Aruba Exempt Company. This type of company is intended for non-residents of Aruba: and such a company pays no taxes (but must instead pay an annual registration fee of AFl 500, or about US$280). Registered or bearer shares may be issued, and preference shares are also allowed. Minimum share capital is AFl 10,000. There are no financial statements that are required to be filed, but there must be representation by a local Aruban company (usually a Trust Agent). More information about this type of company is available from The Aruba Financial Center.
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