Reasons Companies Have Subsidiaries

These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in oureditorial policy. Shareholder approval is not required to turn a company into a subsidiary or to sell a subsidiary.

  • By having the ownership of a subsidiary company, the parent company can offer shares for their percentage of the its company and drive investments.
  • A wholly owned subsidiary will typically be used to separate a particularly risky asset or a very valuable asset that the parent company wants to keep separate from its other assets and liabilities.
  • Sandra Feldman has been with CT Corporation since 1985 and has been the Publications Attorney since 1988.
  • This article will help you weigh up the pros and cons of establishing a foreign subsidiary and identify when it’s the right option for your company.
  • With full control of the company, it can be better aligned with the corporate structure of the parent company.
  • Creating a subsidiary can be an excellent way to expand your business, but you must ensure you’re doing it the right way.

This helps all the brands to maintain their relationship with the vendors and the goodwill with the customers. By keeping separate brand entities, it is easy to organize the culture of the company and differentiate different brand entities. Parents and sub-companies need not operate in the same location, nor be in the same line of business.

What Is the Difference Between a Joint Venture and a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary?

When entering a foreign market, a parent company may be better off by putting up a regular subsidiary rather than any other type of entity. Even without any legal barriers to entry, creating a regular subsidiary helps the parent tap into partners who already have the expertise and familiarity needed to function with local conditions. But subsidiaries often come with increased legal and accounting work, which can make things more complicated for the parent company. A parent company buys or establishes a subsidiary to obtain specific synergies, such as increased tax benefits, diversified risk, or assets in the form of earnings, equipment, or property. Anunconsolidated subsidiaryis a subsidiary with financials that are not included in its parent company’s statements. Ownership of such firms is typically treated as an equity investment and denoted as an asset on the parent company’s balance sheet. For regulatory reasons, unconsolidated subsidiary firms are typically those in which parent firms do not have a significant stake.

There is a possibility of multiple taxations, deviated business focus, and conflicting interests of companies and subsidiaries. Thus, while setting up a wholly-owned subsidiary, organizations must also be aware of the disadvantages of wholly-owned subsidiaries. Ownership of a subsidiary is usually achieved by owning a majority of its shares. This gives the parent the necessary votes to elect their nominees as directors of the subsidiary, and so exercise control. This gives rise to the common presumption that 50% plus one share is enough to create a subsidiary.

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The subsidiary can be a company and may be a government- or state-owned enterprise. They are a common feature of modern business life, and most multinational corporations organize their operations in this way. Examples of holding companies are Berkshire Hathaway, Jefferies Financial Group, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery, or Citigroup; as well as more focused companies such as IBM, Xerox, and Microsoft.

Reasons Companies Have Subsidiaries

General Re is a global reinsurance company whose North American history dates back to the early 1920s. The company became a direct reinsurer in 1929, offering its services directly and only to insurance companies.


With a wholly-owned subsidiary established in a foreign country, the parent firm may be able to sustain activities in other geographic areas, markets, or industries. These elements assist in adapting to market, geopolitical, and trade practice changes. This will increase the parent firm’s profits, which they can invest in other assets and entities. The percent of holding decides the kind of control a parent company has over a subsidiary. While there are several advantages of a wholly-owned subsidiary, parent companies may have to bear certain disadvantages of wholly-owned subsidiaries too.

1,330 foreign firms, subsidiaries have shut shop in last 3 yrs:Minister – Business Standard

1,330 foreign firms, subsidiaries have shut shop in last 3 yrs:Minister.

Posted: Fri, 10 Feb 2023 14:12:00 GMT [source]

A majority-owned subsidiary is one in which a parent company has a 51% to 99% controlling interest. But parent companies must keep in mind that businesses that operate in different countries may have different workplace Reasons Companies Have Subsidiaries cultures. This means that policies and procedures may not align with those of the parent. Acquisitions may be costly to execute and there may be inherent risks that come with doing business in another country.

Wholly-Owned Subsidiary

As separate legal entities, parent companies can limit financial liabilities and keep businesses apart. Possible conflict of interest may exist between the parent company and its wholly owned subsidiary. This can cripple the operations of both firms since it affects their management. The wholly owned subsidiary and parent company can integrate their information technology and financial systems, resulting in reduced costs and expenses. Wholly owned subsidiaries may be part of the same industry as the parent company or part of an entirely different industry. Sometimes, a company will spin off part of itself as a wholly owned subsidiary, such as a computer company spinning off its printer manufacturing division.

Reasons Companies Have Subsidiaries

The parent company can choose which areas of its business should be public and which should be private. Not all business operations are suitable for public investment and disclosure requirements. For example, support functions are hard to quantify, so investors may not get excited enough to buy stock.

For greater than 80% ownership, the parent must submit consolidated tax returns. Wholly owned subsidiaries usually lack operational flexibility due to the complexity of management, thereby reducing the firm’s competitiveness.

The advantages of these business structures include tax benefits, reducing risk, and increased efficiencies and diversification. Drawbacks, meanwhile, include limited control and greater bureaucracy and legal costs.