The Info List - Aktiengesellschaft

(German pronunciation: [ˈʔakt͡si̯ənɡəˌzɛlʃaft]; abbreviated AG, pronounced [ʔaːˈgeː]) is a German word for a corporation limited by share ownership (i.e. one which is owned by its shareholders) and may be traded on a stock market. The term is used in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and South Tyrol
South Tyrol
for companies incorporated in the German-speaking region of Italy. It is also used in Luxembourg
(French pronunciation: ​[aktjɛ̃ʒøzɛlʃaf]), although the French-language equivalent, Société Anonyme, is more common.[1][not in citation given]


1 Meaning of the word 2 Legal basis 3 Structure 4 Similar forms 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading

Meaning of the word[edit]

Example for an Aktie for 1000 Reichsmark

The German word Aktiengesellschaft
is a compound noun made up of two elements: Aktien meaning shares, and Gesellschaft in this context meaning corporation; from its other meaning of an organized group working together, and periodically meeting, because of common interests (Society). An English translation can therefore be "share corporation". In German the use of the term Aktien for shares is restricted to Aktiengesellschaften. Shares
in other types of German companies (e.g. GmbH) are called Anteile rather than Aktien. Legal basis[edit] In Germany
and Austria, the legal basis of the AG is the German Aktiengesetz (abbr. AktG) or the Austrian Aktiengesetz (abbr. AktG). Since the German commercial law (§ 19 Handelsgesetzbuch) requires all corporations to specify their legal form in their name, which tells the public their limitation of liability, all German (required by § 4 Aktiengesetz) and Austrian stock corporations include Aktiengesellschaft
or AG as part of their name, frequently as a suffix. In Switzerland, the Company
Limited by Shares
(or Aktiengesellschaft in German, société anonyme in French, società anonima in Italian, societad anonima in Romansh) is defined in Title Twenty-Six of the Code of Obligations. Article 950 specifies that the business name must indicate the legal form. Structure[edit] German AGs have a "two-tiered board" structure, consisting of a supervisory board (Aufsichtsrat) and a management board (Vorstand). The supervisory board is generally controlled by shareholders, although employees may have seats, depending on the size of the company. The management board directly runs the company, but its members may be removed by the supervisory board, which also determines the management board's compensation. Some German AGs have management boards which determine their own remuneration, but that situation is now relatively uncommon. The general meeting is the supreme governing body of a Swiss company limited by shares. It elects the board of directors (Verwaltungsrat in German) and the external auditors. The board of directors may appoint and dismiss persons entrusted with managing and representing the company. Similar forms[edit] Other countries have similar forms[clarification needed] of company:

Denmark Aktieselskab
(A/S) Norway Aksjeselskap
(AS) Sweden Aktiebolag
(AB) Finland Osakeyhtiö
(Oy) Turkey Anonim Şirket
Anonim Şirket
(A.Ş.) Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain and other Spanish speaking countries Sociedad Anónima
Sociedad Anónima
(S.A.) Portugal Sociedade Anónima
Sociedade Anónima
(S.A.) Brazil Sociedade Anônima (S.A. or S/A or SA) Bulgaria Акционерно дружество (Akcionerno druzhestvo), derived directly from the German AG Russia Публичное акционерное общество (Publichnoe akcionernoe obschestvo) (ПАО) Belgium (Dutch part), Netherlands Naamloze Vennootschap
Naamloze Vennootschap
(N.V.) Belgium (French part), France Société Anonyme
Société Anonyme
(S.A.) Poland spółka akcyjna (S.A.) Italy
Società per Azioni (SpA) United Kingdom Public limited company
Public limited company
(Plc) Romania Societate pe acțiuni or "Societate anonimă" (S.A.)

See also[edit]

Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung


^ "Aktiengesellschaft". Farlex. 2009. Retrieved 2011-05-10. 

Further reading[edit]

Fohlin, Caroline (November 2005). "Chapter 4: The History of Corporate Ownership and Control in Germany". In Morck, Randall K. A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers (PDF). University of Chicago Press. pp. 223–282. ISBN 0-226-53680-7.  E McGaughey, 'The Codetermination Bargains: The History of German Corporate and Labour Law' (2016) 23(1) Columbia Journal of European Law 135 Franks, Julian; Colin Mayer (2001). "Ownership and Control of German Corporations". The Review of Financial Studies. Oxford University Press. 14 (4): 943–977. doi:10.1093/rfs/14.4.943. JSTOR 2696732.  German Stock Corporations Act 1965