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Trading companies may connect buyers and sellers, but not partake in the ownership or storage of goods, earning their revenue through sales commissions. They may also be structured to engage in commerce with foreign countries or territories. During times of colonization, some trading companies were granted a charter, giving them "rights to a specific territory within an area claimed by the authority granting the charter including legal title, a monopoly of trade, and governmental and military jurisdiction". Furthermore, trading companies may comprise a limited liability, unincorporated entity, designed to "settle and develop a land grant obtained from a legally incorporated company".
^Papers Relating to the Ships and Voyages of the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and the Indies, 1696-1707 edited by George Pratt Insh, M.A., Scottish History Society, Edinburgh University Press, 1924.
Carlos, Ann M., and Stephen Nicholas. "'Giants of an Earlier Capitalism': The Chartered Trading Companies as Modern Multinationals." Business history review 62.3 (1988): 398-419. in JSTOR
Ferguson, Niall. The ascent of money: A financial history of the world (2008).
Jones, Geoffrey. Multinationals and Global Capitalism: From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century (2004)
Lipson, E. The Economic History of England (1931) pp 184-370 gives capsule histories of 10 major English trading companies: The Merchant Adventurers, the East India Company, the Eastland Company, the Russia Company, the Levant Company, the African Company, the Hudson's Bay Company, the French Company, the Spanish Company, and the South Sea Company.