Joint Stock Companies in the Italian Legal System

Carlo Bruni



In the Italian legal system a company (società) is the collective exercise of an enterprise. From an organisational point of view, companies may be divided between: (1) companies of persons and (2) share companies. Share companies may have either a profit motive or an object of mutual benefit. Share companies with a profit motive are, inter alia, the Joint Stock Companies. This is both: the principal type of company and the most appropriate company structure for large enterprises which involve a considerable capital and the assumption of a notable risk. The peculiar characteristic of this type of company is that the relationship between the company and its shareholders is impersonal and anonymous. The three distinguishing features of the SpA are: first, the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contributions; second, the participation of the shareholder in the company is represented by shares of equal nominal value; and finally, the company must have a minimum capital.


Italian joint stock companies; mode of formation; shareholders agreements; contribution

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