Types of companies

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Types of Companies
In a world globalized, free-market society, there are a countless numbers of companies open for business, but, they can be classified into a relatively small number of types of companies.  They can be divided in a number of different ways, and we'll try to address a few of those here.
At the most basic, universal level, there are three types of companies that are clearlydistinct and separate in how they make their money:  Services, retailers, and manufacturers.
* Service Companies - Service companies are engaged in providing a specific service - as opposed to a product - to their customers.  While many companies focus on supplying great customer service, this does NOT necessarily mean they fall into the "service" category.  A service company is specificallyselling the service, whereas customer service might only be tangential to the product being sold.  A service could cover any number of things, from an airline flight to a housecleaning company to a barbershop.  The product sold is not a material product, but, rather, an experiential product.  It is the action that is being bought.
* Retail Companies - Also known as merchandisers, the retailer makestheir money off of selling a material product.  They are providing and selling the material product in a specific venue, where the customer may come and purchase the material good.  They may be a grocery store, a shoe store, a hardware store, or a gun store, as long as they are providing a product that is materially taken home and used by the customer, they are are retail company.
*Manufacturers - A manufacturer could be working in tandem with a retail company, but they are making their money from something else entirely.  Their main business is the production of a certain good.  They make their money by providing the material to the retail or service provider.  So while Delta Airlines is in the service business, Boeing is the manufacturer who is selling them their jets.  Themanufacturer is concerned with procuring the raw goods, recreating them into their product, and then selling that product to either a retailer, a service company, or another manufacturer.  For the latter example, one company may be drilling for oil, and, once that oil is drilled, they then sell it to an oil refinery, who distills the oil into gasoline, petroleum, and propane.  The refinery then sells itto a distributor, or a retailer, who makes their money off of selling the final product.  A single company, like Exxon or BP, however, may be vertically integrated so that they control all the steps of the process, like the extraction, the refinement, and the selling of the final product.  This would mean they are both the manufacturers and the retailers.  
You can also divide types of companiesby the way they are organized or their legal structure.  Here are some examples:
* Corporation - a corporation is probably the most prominent type of company in the modern world.  The main purpose of a corporation is to set the corporation as separate from the people, investors, and workers that make up its parts so that, if the corporation goes under, it is the corporation itself that failsand not the people.  This protects investors and workers from going into debt afterwards, and it is called limited liability.  It differs from any business in which a certain person or group of people takes on all liability should the company fail.
* Cooperative - A cooperative, or co-op, is a type of company that is organized so that all workers have a democratic say in the decisions of thecompany.  This differs from most corporations and businesses in that an upper management isn't designated this responsibility.  Another defining characteristic is that all the workers have an owners share in the business, so have a stake in its survival.  Cooperatives tend to be focused on egalitarian objectives, so it is not unusual, for example, for an assembly line worker to make the exact same...
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