A Company is an entity that has a separate legal existence from its owners. The owners of the Company are known as members or shareholders. Australian Companies are governed by the Corporations Act 2001. The administrative body for Australian Companies is the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
The legal status of a Company gives it the same rights as a person which means that a Company can;
• sue and be sued
• execute all the duties of a body corporate
• have perpetual succession
• obtain, hold and sell real estate
Every company will have its own set of rules, which are stated in its constitution. In the instance where a company lacks a constitution, it follows the "replaceable rules" of the Corporations Act 2001.
There are two key types of companies in Australia; proprietary (private) and public companies. The most frequently used type of company in Australia is the proprietary company (generally indicated by the "Pty" at the end of the name).