You are here:

Mergers & Acquisitions/Different kinds of firms

Advertisement


Question
What's the difference between

1/ A firm
2/ A company
3/ A corporation
4/ A conglomerate?

I don't need an academic answer. It's not for formal research. Just a very general one will do, just one line for each type.

Many thanks for your time,

Paul Murphy,
London, UK.

Answer
Paul,

I will give you an answer based on US law.  Different countries sometimes use the same terms somewhat differently. Since you are in the UK, you may want to direct this question to a UK lawyer

1. A firm has no clearly defined meaning.  The term is often used interchangeably with the term "business". It might refer to a partnership, corporation, or any other business entity.

2. Likewise, a company has no clearly defined meaning and can apply to any kind of business. Often, when someone refers to a company they mean a corporation, but not always.

3. A corporation is a specific type of business entity formed under an applicable state statute. However, their various types of corporations formed under different statutes depending upon the state. For example, there are business corporations, professional service corporations, medical service corporations, and not-for-profit corporations, to name a few.

4. A conglomerate is a business entity (usually a corporation) that operates a number of distinct, unrelated businesses under one umbrella. Conglomerates became a popular investment strategy in the 1960s, but have largely fallen out of favor. Wikipedia has a nice short article that describes the concept behind conglomerates.

I hope this helps.

Mergers & Acquisitions

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


David K. Staub

Expertise

I am a business and tax attorney and have spent more than 30 years assisting people in buying, selling, merging and spinning off businesses. I can answer questions on the mergers and acquisitions process and the related legal issues, in general. Topics can include structuring the transaction, negotiating the deal, conducting due diligence, and more. I can also guide people to find sources for answers to specific legal questions which cannot be answered in a forum of this nature.

Experience

I have been an Illinois business attorney for almost 30 years. I have an extensive practice in the mergers and acquisitions area and have been involved in the tax and legal issues on hundreds of business transactions.

Website
Staub Anderson LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Mergers & Acquisitions

Illinois business attorneys

Practice Areas
Business Organizations
-Corporations

-LLCs
-Partnerships

-Joint ventures
Mergers & Acquisitions
-Buying/selling business
Securities Law
Tax Law
Technology Law
-Software licenses
-Development agreements

Trademarks

Disclaimer
Responses are intended to be informational only. No response is intended to constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Online advice is not a substitute for consultation with an attorney.

Organizations
Illinois State Bar Association; Chicago Bar Association (former Chairman of the Corporation & Business Law Committee and former Chairman of the Mergers and Acquisitions Subcommittee; former Executive Committee member, Federal Tax Committee and Chairman of subcommittee on general tax issues); Glenkirk Foundation (Trustee; Vice-Chairman/Strategic Planning); Association for Corporate Growth, Chicago Chapter; Midwest Entrepreneur Forum; Midwest Association of Alpha Delta Phi - President

Publications
Commerce Magazine; YLS Journal; ISBA Section of Taxation Newsletter; Internet Law Forums

Education/Credentials
Harvard Law School, J.D., 1977; University of Illinois, B.S. in Accounting, with highest honors, 1974

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.