The structure of companies is of interest in several ways. First, it constitutes the formal administrative framework within which managers work. The company structure may give expression to a society’s values and assumptions. It also has the advantage, from the standpoint of the interested outsider of being a very accessible aspect of management: it can be studied in handbooks. There is a range of structures from the predictable and re-defined to the novel and unusual. German companies, for instance, have some features which, viewed internationally, are or at any rate were, unusual – the two-tier board system and co determination, for instance. And some features of German companies differ from those of companies in other lands in kind or in degree. In yet other respects German companies are ‘just like’ those in other countries in the sense that forms and intentions are internationally alike although there may be a little empirical variation. A case in point is the variety of types of company in West Germany, in terms of their legal status. There is a fairly standard pattern. The control of the entrepreneur co-varies with his liability and both vary inversely with the possibility of raising capital on the open market. These liability-control-capital access gradations are common elsewhere though the range may be more complicated in West Germany and requires explanation.