Companies as we know them today originate from the English/ Low Countries/Dutch style of companies set up around 1650 onwards. These include the concepts of shareholding, share trading, corporate accountability, transparency (at first this was rather opaque), and profit.
Note London's first dedicated stock exchange was opened in 1773. New York brokers were dealing under a sycamore tree on Wall Street in 1791 until their first proper Exchange was opened the following year. The first stock exchange, or Bourse, is believed to have started in Bruges in Flanders (now part of Belgium) and is named after the Van der Beurze family who owned the house where the activity began.
Companies by their very nature are very similar the world over, whether you are in Seattle or Singapore, Moscow or Madrid. But always check to find out how they are interpreted locally.
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