Société par actions simplifiée

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Société par actions simplifiée (SAS, English: "simplified joint-stock company") is the first hybrid law enacted under French law and based on common law principles rather than civil. It is similar to a limited liability company under United States law, as the Delaware limited liability company was the model used by the French Government. The SAS is also similar to the limited company in the British law, and most other hybrids; though the hybrid in civil law countries is quite different because there is also a hybrid of common law principles applied.

A société par actions simplifiée has its annual statements controlled by an independent body, and the annual summary and balance sheet are published. The head of a société par actions simplifiée is its Président (chairperson). However, this company, unlike the société anonyme, does not have a board. The Président is also responsible for the operation of the company. The company may also have a Directeur Général (general manager), who has the same authority as the Président with respect to third parties.

The société par actions simplifiée form of organisation is useful for companies that are wholly owned subsidiaries of another company, often a publicly traded corporation, since they do not need a complex capital equity structure. An example of this is European aerospace giant Airbus, which is an SAS wholly owned by Airbus Group. It is also useful for companies held by families or small, close-knit groups of families; the Louis Dreyfus Group, a trading conglomerate, is held in this manner by members of the Louis-Dreyfus family.