Strictly speaking, a company is a group of individuals who are either natural persons or legally recognised legal persons. People usually form companies to consolidate their interest into one legally recognised entity, and to separate and protect their personal assets from those of the organisation they have developed. There are also taxable benefits to forming certain types of companies.
One of the more famous kinds of company is the private company. This company is meant to generate profits and does not offer shares to the public. It is generally formed by a single person and is meant to replace the close corporation (CC) that was previously allowed under South African law.
A personal liability company is like the private company, except that the directors are personally responsible for the debts of the company. This vehicle of doing business is normally used by professionals like attorneys and accountants. The public company is a company which is listed on the stock exchange and draws funding form the public by selling shares. This company is subject to stricter rules which require professional audits of its finances. While other companies have private individuals as owners and directors, the public company is a company that is owed by the state, like a municipality.
One of the more popular companies today is the non-profit company. These companies may include non-governmental organisations (NGO), referred to as a section 21 company, as well as charities or homeowners associations.
For more information about a particular company, visit the Yellowpages website.
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