Most people have a decent concept of what a company is. They could tell you that there are lots of them, they make lots of money, most work for one, and typically that they sell a particular thing or provide a range of services. Most people even know that many companies have “pty ltd” next to their name and some of those people realise that it stands for proprietary limited.
If however, you were to ask someone to define what a company is or what “proprietary limited” actually meant, you may find a few more blank faces. Ultimately, it probably doesn’t matter to the majority of the population, but it is quite critical to understand what defines a company and what distinguishes it from other business forms before considering more complex legal and corporate issues.
The central themes that will continue to arise when thinking about companies are liability, ownership, financing, legal obligations and succession especially in the event that the company can no longer pay its debts when they fall due (insolvency).