Joint-Stock Company. A company whose ownership is represented by shares of stock. Although this term is occasionally used in America, it is much more common in Great Britain. This term is also subject to two interpretations. In the first place, the ordinary corporation with shares of stock, or, as defined by the General Corporation Laws of West Virginia, "the words joint-stock company include every corporation having a joint-stock or capital divided into shares owned by the stockholders respectively." And then another class, which is really an exaggerated form of partnership, the participants in which do not own shares of stock, but certificates showing their joint interest in the concern or company. Holders of this form of a certificate are personally liable for the debts of a concern the same as in a partnership, and they have not the limited liability of the shareholders of the ordinary corporation with which we are so familiar. A partnership of this kind does not end by the death of a member, nor has each certificate owner the right to transact business for the concern as in an ordinary partnership. This class of " joint-stock companies " is not very common in America, but a good example is that of some of our large express companies, such as the Adams, American, and United States, which are organized under a New York law, by which they have the right to issue transferable shares representing beneficial interests in the companies.
J. 0. J. A. July, October, January, and April; interest or dividends payable quarterly beginning with July.