Do You Know These Facts About a Company’s Prior Calendar Year?


A company is a legal entity established to engage in and operate commercial or industrial business enterprises, whether as partnerships, proprietorships or corporations.

Companies exist as separate legal entities from their owners and can sue and be sued in their name, pay taxes, borrow money, and own assets independently from them. Companies are typically formed for profit-seeking activities.

A company is a legal entity.

A company is a legal entity that allows multiple individuals to conduct business under one name and acquire certain rights and responsibilities, such as borrowing, lending, and suing rights. A limited liability company structure ensures that shareholders’ assets do not go towards paying company debts; however, it comes at higher set-up and administrative costs and more complex tax and financial reporting requirements.

A corporation is an artificial person with a separate legal personality and perpetual succession that operates under limited liability and is managed by elected directors who must act in their shareholders’ best interest.

The corporation’s business structure offers several advantages over sole traders and partnerships. As it is an independent legal entity, a corporation can incur debt, sue for and be sued, and limit shareholder liabilities to unpaid share values; this is particularly useful as failing companies could put the personal assets of shareholders at risk due to failed payment obligations.

Various entity data products provide information about a company’s legal hierarchy, such as subsidiaries and shareholders’ names. Bank compliance departments use such products when extending credit to an organization; additional benefits of some products may include cross-referencing between issuers and instruments, reducing risk in credit processes, and more detailed examination of company structure and performance. They can be divided into four main groups: legal hierarchy, business lines, financial data reporting, or regulatory reporting, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

It is a profit-making entity.

Profit-making companies aim to make their owners richer through cash dividends or by reinvesting the funds back into the business, increasing its value and share price in turn. But for this to work effectively, enough revenue must be generated each year to cover expenses; hence, most use fiscal years instead of calendar years.

The calendar year is an international standard used to track time. Individuals and organizations use it for monitoring financial statements and planning events, while it also forms the basis of various holidays and celebrations worldwide.

Some businesses opt to switch over to fiscal years rather than calendar years for tax reasons, which can provide greater accuracy. For instance, using calendar years could lead to onerous tax burdens when receiving investment dollars in November and December before incurring expenses until February or March; using fiscal years provides much greater accuracy.

It is a tax-paying entity.

Companies are required to file tax returns and pay income tax every time they report income, with taxes determined differently depending on whether a company uses a calendar tax year or fiscal tax year – calendar tax years span January to December, while fiscal tax years can end in any month with any day other than Dec 31 as long or short as desired by the taxpayer. Several entities must use one particular fiscal tax year, such as partnerships, controlled foreign corporations (CFCs), S corporations, personal service corporations (PSCs), trusts (with certain exceptions), and real estate investment trusts.

A fiscal year is the one year corresponding to a company’s financial reporting periods, which investors should understand in order to compare earnings across time periods effectively. Knowing a company’s fiscal year can be especially crucial if its reporting periods don’t follow a calendar year – for instance, retailers with high holiday sales often choose the fifth Saturday of January as their fiscal year-end date to easily compare earnings between years.