Joint stock company.

Joint-stock company (JSC) is a company, the authorised capital of which is divided into a certain number of shares; shareholders bear no responsibility for its obligations and run the risk, within the value of shares belonging to them, of losses associated with the company's activity.

A joint-stock company in which shares can be traded freely and which may have unlimited number of shareholders is an 'open' joint-stock company (OAO). Such joint-stock companies have the right to organise a public subscription to the shares issued by it and sell them on the open market. A joint-stock company which shareholders have a pre-emptive right to buy shares sold by other shareholders is a 'closed' joint-stock company. Such a company has no right to hold a public subscription to its shares or for that matter offer them for sale to the general public. The number of shareholders in a closed company does not exceed 50 people; otherwise, it is subject to the transformation into a open (public) joint-stock company within a year and, upon the expiration of this period, to judicial liquidation unless their number decreases to the prescribed limit.

In short, joint stock companies are now used for complex ownership structures, because limited liability companies have most advantages of closed JSC and at the same time LLCs aren't subject of regulation by the Federal Service for Financial Markets.