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TYPES OF BRITISH FIRMS

The limited liability company, îò joint stock company, is the commonest type of firm in the United Kingdom. The company is owned by sharehol­ders, and the term 'limited liability' means that when the full price of a share has been paid the holder has no further liability to contribute money to the company.

The shareholders in a limited company elect a Board of Directors, and these men and women are responsible for looking after the financial interests of those who elect them. The directors appoint one of their number to the position of Managing Director, and he or she is the link between the Board, who make policy decisions, and management, whose function it is to execute the policy determined on. Thus the Managing Director is in charge of the day-to-day running of the company, and in large organisations he is often assisted by a General Manager. The various departmental managers—the Sales Manager, the Personnel

Manager, the Chief Buyer, and others—are responsible to the Managing Director for the efficient running of their departments. British company law requires a limited company to have a Company Secretary. (See Chapter 14)

Another type of firm is the partnership. In this case limited liability does not extend to the whole firm and all partners (even in a limited partnership there must be at least one partner with unlimited liability), so partnerships are very seldom manufacturing or trading firms. They tend rather to be professional organisations such as firms of solicitors, auditors, architects, or management consultants. The names of all partners must, in accordance with the law in Britain, be printed on the stationery of a partnership.

EXERCISES

1. Design a letter heading for a company manufacturing washing machines, refrigerators and other household equipment. Include all the information about your company which is normally shown in a modern letter heading.

2. Write out the following date in three or four different ways in which it might appear at the top of a business letter: the fourteenth of April nineteen-seventy-eight.

3. Imagine you are writing to the company whose letter heading appears on page 4. How would you set out the inside address, and what would the salutation and complimentary close be?

4. Below are names and addresses which might appear—suitably set out, of course—in the top left-hand corner of a business letter. Give the correct salutation and complimentary close in each case:

 

(a) Burke and Sons Ltd., 55 Inkerman Road, London SE5 8BZ.

(b) The Sales Manager, BGW Electrics Ltd., Liverpool 4.

(c) Mr A. L. Moon, British Rail (Southern Region), London W1M 2BT.

(d) Ms Angela Box, Gorton and Sons, 344 Oxford St., London W1A 3BA.

5. Which of the organisations mentioned in Exercise 4 should be addressed as Messrs.1 Give your reasons for including or omitting Messrs, in all four cases.

 


Date: 2015-01-11; view: 87


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