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The company suffix Compagnie , Co. or Cie. abbreviated, is a reference in commercial law to the legal form of partnerships with more than two partners. The abbreviation is usually added at the end of a name after an ampersand ( & Co. ). The Maria Mustermann, Max Mustermann & Co. Steuerberater GbR consists of Maria and Max Mustermann as well as other shareholders.

The abbreviation Cie. was used in the entire German-speaking area until the 19th century . Today the abbreviation Co. is common in Germany and Austria . In Switzerland and France, Cie. still in use today. For the sake of tradition, Cie. but continued in some companies, such as the private bank Sal. Oppenheim jr. & Cie. KGaA or the household appliance manufacturer Miele & Cie. KG .

The additions Co. or Cie. have been required by law since the Commercial Law Reform Act of June 22, 1998 as a reference to the specific legal form.

The GmbH & Co. KG is a special form of the limited partnership . In this legal form, instead of a natural person, a corporation and thus a legal person acts as a general partner : the company with limited liability (GmbH). The legal form is a partnership in which nobody is liable with all of their assets. A GmbH & Co. KG must therefore in accordance with Section 19 (2) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) must be marked as such in order to inform business partners of the limitation of liability.

Individual evidence

  1. Overview of the legal forms of companies in Germany Startup Guide, 1 & 1 Ionos , January 29, 2019
  2. Law on the new regulation of commercial and company law and on the amendment of other commercial and company law provisions (Commercial Law Reform Act - HRefG) of June 22, 1998, Federal Law Gazette I p. 1474
  3. ^ R. Morche: Important changes in the HGB regarding the company name regulations and the types of merchants from July 1, 1998 January 13, 1999
  4. Draft of a law for the new regulation of the commercial and company law and for the amendment of other commercial and company law provisions (Commercial Law Reform Act - HRefG) BT-Drs. 13/8444 of August 29, 1997, p. 38
  5. Florian Jacoby : The commercial law company Bielefeld University , no year, slide 535