A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms, such as:
- voluntary associations, which may include nonprofit organizations
- business entities, whose aim is generating profit
- financial entities and banks
- programs or educational institutions.
A company can be created as a legal person so that the company itself has limited liability as members perform or fail to discharge their duty according to the publicly declared incorporation, or published policy. When a company closes, it may need to be liquidated to avoid further legal obligations.
Companies may associate and collectively register themselves as new companies; the resulting entities are often known as corporate groups.