Overview juristic persons

There are several types of juristic or legal persons. The first important division is:

  • Public juristic persons
  • Private juristic persons

The first category consists of the governments and government agencies. They are instituted by law or executive order. Their purpose is to perform some public function.

Private juristic persons are established by private person or entities. On basis of their function we can distinguish two main types:

  • Charitable juristic persons
  • Commercial juristic persons

The last category of juristic persons are created with the intend of returning profit. The first category of juristic persons are established to achieve a charitable aim.

The following two charitable juristic person will be introduced:

  • Private foundations
  • Voluntary associations

The private foundation is, to some extent, similar with trusts in Anglo-American law. Voluntary associations differ from private foundations in that VAs have members but private foundations have none. PFs are only required to have a board, which could exist of one member.

A voluntary association has a board which is elected by the members of the VA, and could be dismissed by them. All important decisions have to be approved by the members.

The following commercial juristic persons will be introduced:

  • Joint stock companies
  • Cooperatives

Joint-stock companies will have shareholders, while cooperatives have members instead of shareholders. In cooperatives the one-man-one vote rule applies, whereas in joint stock companies the number of shares determines the number of votes.

In a joint-stock company there can be different types of shares: shares with and without voting rights, shares that could be freely transferred or not, and so on.

Under Mordan law juristic persons are equal with natural persons (“flesh and blood” persons) for the purpose of property law, i.e. juristic person can own property and make contracts (such as hiring people). Though juristic persons have economic rights, they will not have political rights.