HomeKnow-HowCompact overview of the most common legal entities for companies in all...

Compact overview of the most common legal entities for companies in all EU member states

When starting a company it is important to choose the right legal entity for your business based on your specific needs and goals. In some cases it might even make sense to seek legal advice before you determine the best option for your company.

In this extensive article we’re introducing you to the most common legal entities for companies in all EU member states. As you’ll quickly notice, most types of legal entities exist in all other EU member states under a different name, and sometimes with slightly different regulations involved.

If you look at the current state of legal entities across Europe through the lense of fast-growing international startups, it could make sense if the European Commission would at some point create a EU-wide legal entity like a EU Limited“, which would be able to move its HQ freely within EU borders, ease cross-boarder hiring, and get taxed on a EU level. This could potentially make some things a lot easier for many EU-based startups and SMEs.

Anyways, back to today’s reality. Here you’ll find the most common legal entities for startups, SMEs and bigger corporates in all EU member states:

The most common legal entities for companies in Austria

In Austria, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in Austria. A GmbH is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Aktiengesellschaft (AG): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. An AG is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Europäische Gesellschaft (SE): This is a European company, which is a legal form that allows companies to operate in multiple European Union (EU) member states. An SE is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  4. Kommanditgesellschaft (KG): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  5. Genossenschaft: This is a cooperative, which is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In a genossenschaft, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Belgium

In Belgium, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Société à responsabilité limitée (SRL): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in Belgium. An SRL is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Société anonyme (SA): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. An SA is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Société en commandite simple (SCS): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. Société en nom collectif (SNC): This is a partnership in which all the partners have unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts.
  5. Société coopérative (SC): This is a cooperative, which is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In an SC, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.
  6. Association: This is a legal form that is commonly used by nonprofit organizations. An association is not a legal entity and does not have legal capacity, which means that the members are personally liable for the association’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Bulgaria

In Bulgaria, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Limited liability company (Дружество с ограничена отговорност or ДОО): This is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Joint-stock company (Акционерно дружество or АД): This is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. It is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Limited partnership (Командитно дружество or КД): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. General partnership (Дружество с неограничена отговорност or ДНОО): This is a partnership in which all the partners have unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts.
  5. Cooperative (Кооперативно дружество or КД): This is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In a cooperative, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Croatia

In Croatia, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Društvo s ograničenom odgovornošću (DO): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in Croatia. A DO is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Dioničko društvo (DD): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. A DD is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Komanditno društvo (KD): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. Društvo s neograničenom odgovornošću (DNO): This is a partnership in which all the partners have unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts.
  5. Kooperativno društvo: This is a cooperative, which is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In a kooperativno društvo, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Cyprus

In the Republic of Cyprus, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Private company limited by shares (Ιδιωτική εταιρεία περιορισμένης ευθύνης με κεφάλαια που διαιρούνται σε μερίδια): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in Cyprus. A private company limited by shares is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Public company limited by shares (Δημόσια εταιρεία περιορισμένης ευθύνης με κεφάλαια που διαιρούνται σε μερίδια): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. A public company limited by shares is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Limited partnership (Συμμετοχικός εταίρος με περιορισμένη ευθύνη): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. General partnership (Συμμετοχικός εταίρος με άπειρη ευθύνη): This is a partnership in which all the partners have unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts.
  5. Cooperative (Κοινωνικό δίκαιο): This is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In a cooperative, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in the Czechia

In the Czech Republic, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Společnost s ručením omezeným (s.r.o.): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Czech Republic. A s.r.o. is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Akciová společnost (a.s.): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. An a.s. is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Kommanditní společnost (k.s.): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. Společnost s ručením omezeným založená jedním společníkem (jednoduchá s.r.o.): This is a type of limited liability company that is similar to a s.r.o., but it is intended for entrepreneurs who are just starting a business. A jednoduchá s.r.o. has a minimum share capital requirement of CZK 1, and the shareholder is not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  5. Družstvo: This is a cooperative, which is a legal form that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In a družstvo, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Denmark

In Denmark, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Anpartsselskab (ApS): This is a limited liability company, which is the most common legal form for small and medium-sized enterprises in Denmark. An ApS is a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), which means that the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  2. Aktieselskab (A/S): This is a joint-stock company, which is a legal form that is typically used for larger enterprises. An A/S is also a legal entity that is separate from its owners (the shareholders), and the shareholders are not personally liable for the company’s debts.
  3. Interessentskab: This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  4. Kommanditselskab (K/S): This is a partnership in which at least one partner (the general partner) has unlimited liability for the partnership’s debts, while the other partners (the limited partners) have limited liability.
  5. Andelsselskab (Andelskasse): This is a type of cooperative that is commonly used by businesses that are owned and controlled by their members (e.g., farmers, artisans, etc.). In an andelsselskab, the members are jointly and severally liable for the cooperative’s debts.

The most common legal entities for companies in Estonia

In Estonia, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. OÜ (osaühing): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. AS (aktsiaselts): This is a joint stock company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  3. TÜ (täisühing): This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  4. UÜ (usaldusühing): This is a trust company that is owned and managed by one or more trustees. The trustees have limited liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
  5. MTÜ (mittetulundusühing): This is a non-profit organization that is managed by a board of directors.

The most common legal entities for companies in Finland

In Finland, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Osakeyhtiö (OY): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. Osuuskunta: This is a cooperative that is owned and controlled by its members, who share in the profits and losses of the company. It is managed by a board of directors elected by the members.
  3. Kollektiivinen osakeyhtiö: This is a limited liability company in which the shareholders have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by a board of directors.
  4. Avoin yhtiö (AY): This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  5. Ky: This is a limited partnership in which at least one partner has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations, while the other partners have limited liability. It is managed by one or more managing partners.

The most common legal entities for companies in France

In France, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Société à responsabilité limitée (SARL): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. Société par actions simplifiée (SAS): This is a simplified joint stock company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  3. Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle (SASU): This is a one-person simplified joint stock company that is similar to a sole proprietorship in other countries. The owner has limited liability for the company’s debts and obligations.
  4. Société en nom collectif (SNC): This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  5. Société en commandite par actions (SCA): This is a limited partnership in which at least one partner has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations, while the other partners have limited liability. It is managed by one or more managing partners.

The most common legal entities for companies in Germany

In Germany, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Aktiengesellschaft (AG): This is a joint stock company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a managing director or board of directors.
  3. Unternehmergesellschaft (haftungsbeschränkt) (UG (haftungsbeschränkt)): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a limited liability partnership in other countries. It is owned by one or more partners and is managed by one or more managing partners.
  4. Kommanditgesellschaft auf Aktien (KGaA): This is a limited partnership in which at least one partner has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations, while the other partners have limited liability. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  5. Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR): This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.

The most common legal entities for companies in Greece

In Greece, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Ανώνυμη Εταιρεία (Anonymi Etaireia or AE): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. Εταιρεία Περιορισμένης Ευθύνης (Eteria Periorismenis Eythinis or EPE): This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  3. Κοινός Επενδυτικός Συμβολαίος (Koinos Epeidutiikos Symvoalios or KES): This is a limited partnership in which at least one partner has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations, while the other partners have limited liability. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  4. Γενική Κοινοπραξία (Geniki Koinopraxia or GK): This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  5. Ενωση Επενδυτών (Enosi Epeiduton or EE): This is a business partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.

The most common legal entities for companies in Hungary

In Hungary, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Kft.: This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  2. Zrt.: This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  3. Bt.: This is a limited liability company that is similar to a corporation in other countries. It is owned by one or more shareholders and is managed by a board of directors.
  4. Kkt.: This is a general partnership in which the partners have unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations. It is managed by one or more managing partners.
  5. Zrt.: This is a limited partnership in which at least one partner has unlimited liability for the company’s debts and obligations, while the other partners have limited liability. It is managed by one or more managing partners.

The most common legal entities for companies in Ireland

In Ireland, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Private limited company (LTD): This is the most common type of legal entity for a small or medium-sized business in Ireland. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Public limited company (PLC): This type of company is similar to a private limited company, but it is publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €25,000.
  3. Unlimited liability company (ULL): This type of company is similar to a private limited company, but the liability of the owners is not limited to the value of their shareholding. This means that the owners are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the company.
  4. Sole trader: This type of business is owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.
  5. Partnership: This is a business owned and operated by two or more individuals who are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the business.
  6. Limited liability partnership (LLP): This is a partnership in which the liability of the partners is limited to the value of their contribution to the partnership.

The most common legal entities for companies in Italy

In Italy, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Società a responsabilità limitata (SRL): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Società per azioni (SpA): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €50,000.
  3. Società in accomandita per azioni (SAPA): This is a hybrid legal entity that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. Some of the owners (accomandatari) have limited liability, while others (accomandanti) have unlimited liability.
  4. Società in nome collettivo (SNC): This is a partnership in which all the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  5. Società in accomandita semplice (SAS): This is a partnership in which some of the partners (accomandatari) have limited liability, while others (accomandanti) have unlimited liability.
  6. Ditta individuale: This is a business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Latvia

In Latvia, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Sabiedrība ar ierobežotu atbildību (SIA): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Akciju sabiedrība (AS): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €25,000.
  3. Komersanta (K): This is a sole trader business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.
  4. Partnerība: This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  5. Komersanta ar ierobežotu atbildību (KIA): This is a hybrid legal entity that combines elements of a sole trader business and a limited liability company. The owner is personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business, but the liability is limited to the value of their contribution to the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Lithuania

In Lithuania, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Uždaroji akcinė bendrovė (UAB): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Akcinė bendrovė (AB): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €25,000.
  3. Individuali įmonė (IĮ): This is a sole trader business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.
  4. Bendrovė su nuosavybės teise (BNT): This is a hybrid legal entity that combines elements of a partnership and a limited liability company. The owners (partners) have limited liability, but the liability is not limited to the value of their contribution to the business.
  5. Tautinė bendrovė (TB): This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.

The most common legal entities for companies in Luxembourg

In Luxembourg, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Société à responsabilité limitée (SARL): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Société anonyme (SA): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €31,000.
  3. Société en commandite par actions (SCA): This is a hybrid legal entity that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. Some of the owners (commanditaires) have limited liability, while others (commandités) have unlimited liability.
  4. Société en nom collectif (SNC): This is a partnership in which all the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  5. Société en commandite simple (SCS): This is a partnership in which some of the partners (commanditaires) have limited liability, while others (commandités) have unlimited liability.
  6. Entreprise individuelle: This is a business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Malta

In Malta, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Private limited liability company (LTD): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Public limited liability company (PLC): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €46,000.
  3. Sole trader: This is a business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.
  4. Partnership: This is a business owned and operated by two or more individuals who are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the business.
  5. Limited partnership (LP): This is a partnership in which one or more of the partners (general partners) have unlimited liability, while the other partners (limited partners) have limited liability.

The most common legal entities for companies in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Besloten vennootschap met beperkte aansprakelijkheid (BV): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Naamloze vennootschap (NV): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €45,000.
  3. Eenmanszaak: This is a sole trader business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.
  4. Vennootschap onder firma (VOF): This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  5. Commanditaire vennootschap (CV): This is a partnership in which some of the partners (commanditaire vennoten) have limited liability, while others (silent partners) have no liability.

The most common legal entities for companies in Poland

In Poland, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Spółka z ograniczoną odpowiedzialnością (Sp. z o.o.): This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Akcyjna spółka (Sp. akcyjna): This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of PLN 100,000.
  3. Spółka jawna: This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  4. Spółka komandytowa: This is a partnership in which some of the partners (komplementariusze) have unlimited liability, while others (komandytariusze) have limited liability.
  5. Spółka cywilna: This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  6. Działalność gospodarcza: This is a business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Portugal

In Portugal, the most common legal entities for companies are:

  1. Sociedade por quotas: This is the equivalent of a private limited company in the UK or an LLC in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. This means that the liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the value of their shareholding in the company.
  2. Sociedade anónima: This is the equivalent of a public limited company in the UK or a corporation in the US. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. It can be publicly traded on a stock exchange and is required to have a minimum share capital of €50,000.
  3. Sociedade em nome colectivo: This is a partnership in which the partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  4. Sociedade em comandita simples: This is a partnership in which some of the partners (comanditados) have unlimited liability, while others (comanditários) have limited liability.
  5. Sociedade em comandita por acções: This is a hybrid legal entity that combines elements of a corporation and a partnership. It is a separate legal entity from its owners and is limited by shares. Some of the owners (comanditados) have limited liability, while others (comanditários) have unlimited liability.
  6. Empresa individual de responsabilidade limitada (EIRL): This is a sole trader business owned and operated by a single individual who is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business, but the liability is limited to the value of their contribution to the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Romania

In Romania, the most common legal entities for companies are the following:

  1. SRL (Societate cu răspundere limitată) or Limited Liability Company: This is a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses, as it has relatively low start-up and maintenance costs. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  2. SA (Societate pe acțiuni) or Joint Stock Company: This type of legal entity is typically chosen by larger companies, as it requires a higher minimum share capital. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  3. PFA (PFA – Persoană Fizică Autorizată) or Sole Proprietorship: This is a simple business structure that is suitable for individuals who are self-employed and do not have any employees. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business.
  4. II (Întreprindere Individuală) or Individual Enterprise: This is a business structure that is similar to a sole proprietorship, but it is reserved for individuals who are engaged in certain types of activities that require specific qualifications or licenses.
  5. ONG (Organizație Non-Guvernamentală) or Non-Governmental Organization: This is a legal entity that is typically formed by individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable or non-profit activities.
  6. SNC (Societate în nume colectiv) or General Partnership: This is a business structure in which two or more individuals or legal entities carry on a business together and are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership.
  7. SCA (Societate în comandită simplă) or Limited Partnership: This is a business structure in which one or more individuals or legal entities (called “general partners”) are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, while one or more individuals or legal entities (called “limited partners”) are only liable to the extent of their capital contribution.

The most common legal entities for companies in Slovakia

In Slovakia, the most common legal entities for companies are the following:

  1. s.r.o. (spoločnosť s ručením obmedzeným) or Limited Liability Company: This is a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses, as it has relatively low start-up and maintenance costs. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  2. a.s. (akciová spoločnosť) or Joint Stock Company: This type of legal entity is typically chosen by larger companies, as it requires a higher minimum share capital. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  3. živnostenský podnik or Sole Proprietorship: This is a simple business structure that is suitable for individuals who are self-employed and do not have any employees. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business.
  4. družstvo or Cooperative: This is a business structure that is owned and controlled by its members, who are typically individuals or organizations that use the cooperative’s services or products.
  5. občianske združenie or Association: This is a legal entity that is typically formed by individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable or non-profit activities.
  6. komanditná spoločnosť or Limited Partnership: This is a business structure in which one or more individuals or legal entities (called “general partners”) are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, while one or more individuals or legal entities (called “limited partners”) are only liable to the extent of their capital contribution.
  7. spoločnosť s vkladmi verejných obchodných spoločností or Public Limited Company: This is a type of joint stock company that is typically listed on a stock exchange and has a minimum share capital of EUR 50,000. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.

The most common legal entities for companies in Slovenia

In Slovenia, the most common legal entities for companies are the following:

  1. d.o.o. (družba z omejeno odgovornostjo) or Limited Liability Company: This is a popular choice for small and medium-sized businesses, as it has relatively low start-up and maintenance costs. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  2. d.d. (delniška družba) or Joint Stock Company: This type of legal entity is typically chosen by larger companies, as it requires a higher minimum share capital. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  3. s.p. (samostojni podjetnik) or Sole Proprietorship: This is a simple business structure that is suitable for individuals who are self-employed and do not have any employees. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business.
  4. z.o.o. (zavod za omejeno odgovornostjo) or Limited Partnership: This is a business structure in which one or more individuals or legal entities (called “general partners”) are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, while one or more individuals or legal entities (called “limited partners”) are only liable to the extent of their capital contribution.
  5. združenje or Association: This is a legal entity that is typically formed by individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable or non-profit activities.
  6. društvo or Cooperative: This is a business structure that is owned and controlled by its members, who are typically individuals or organizations that use the cooperative’s services or products.
  7. javna družba or Public Limited Company: This is a type of joint stock company that is typically listed on a stock exchange and has a minimum share capital of EUR 50,000. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.

The most common legal entities for companies in Spain

In Spain, the most common legal entities for companies are the following:

  1. Sociedad Anónima (SA): This is a type of public limited company, which means that it can issue shares of stock to shareholders. It is suitable for larger businesses that want to raise capital through the sale of shares.
  2. Sociedad Limitada (SL): This is a type of private limited company, which means that the liability of the owners is limited to the amount of capital they have invested in the company. It is suitable for smaller businesses or those with a small number of owners.
  3. Sociedad Civil: This is a type of partnership in which two or more individuals come together to conduct a business or professional activity. Each partner is personally liable for the debts of the business.
  4. Sociedad Cooperativa: This is a type of cooperative in which the members work together to achieve a common goal, such as producing and marketing goods or providing services. Each member has one vote in the decision-making process, regardless of their contribution to the business.

The most common legal entities for companies in Sweden

In Sweden, the most common legal entities for companies are the following:

  1. Aktiebolag or Corporation: This is a type of legal entity that is suitable for small and large businesses. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  2. Enskild firma or Sole Proprietorship: This is a simple business structure that is suitable for individuals who are self-employed and do not have any employees. The owner is personally responsible for all debts and obligations of the business.
  3. Handelsbolag or Limited Liability Company: This is a type of legal entity that is similar to a corporation, but it has lower start-up and maintenance costs. The liability of the owners (shareholders) is limited to the amount of their share capital contribution.
  4. Kommanditbolag or Limited Partnership: This is a business structure in which one or more individuals or legal entities (called “general partners”) are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the partnership, while one or more individuals or legal entities (called “limited partners”) are only liable to the extent of their capital contribution.
  5. Ekonomisk förening or Economic Association: This is a legal entity that is typically formed by individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable or non-profit activities.
  6. Ideell förening or Non-Profit Association: This is a legal entity that is typically formed by individuals or groups who want to carry out charitable or non-profit activities.
  7. Kooperativ förening or Cooperative: This is a business structure that is owned and controlled by its members, who are typically individuals or organizations that use the cooperative’s services or products.
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Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr
Thomas Ohr is the "Editor in Chief" of EU-Startups.com and started the blog in October 2010. He is excited about Europe's future, passionate about new business ideas and lives in Barcelona (Spain).
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