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Joint-stock company

Joint-stock company, forerunner of the modern corporation, a form of business association in which the working capital is obtained by selling shares of stock to individuals who may transfer them without the consent of the group. The shareholders are collectively responsible for the company's debts. The most famous early joint-stock companies were the British East India Company (1600), the Dutch East India Company (1602), and the Hudson's Bay Company (1670).

See also: East India Company.

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