History of companies
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Corporation. (Discuss) Proposed since October 2013.|
The history of companies stretches back to Roman times, and deals principally with associations of people formed to run a business, but also for charitable or leisure purposes. A corporation is one kind of company, and refers to an entity which has a separate legal identity from that both of those people who carry out its activities and those who have rights to its property. Originally, corporations were solely able to be established through an act of the state, for example through royal charter or an Act of Parliament.
It was only in the mid-19th century, the first being through the Joint Stock Companies Act 1856 in the United Kingdom, that private individuals could, through a simple registration procedure, be considered to have established a corporation with limited liability. Companies today dominate economic life in all developed countries and in the global economy.