You will find below a short summary of the company forms which appear in the company registry. Generally it can be said that the foundation of these company forms have to be announced to the competent court of registry for registration, and such companies are legally created by their registration in the company registry.
1. State-owned enterprise ("vállalat" or "állami vállalat")
Today, out of enterprises, only state-owned companies may be registered in the company registry. State-owned enterprises are companies with a legal personality which are founded by an authorized state organ which will also provide adequate assets for their operation. A state-owned enterprise manages independently the assets entrusted from the state property in the manner and with the responsibility prescribed in the relevant special regulations, and is responsible for its obligations with the assets entrusted to it. Its operation is governed and supervised by the state. After 31 December, 1993, no new enterprises of certain legal entities or subsidiary enterprises of non-state owned companies may be established.
2. Cooperative ("szövetkezet")
A cooperative is an economic organization with legal personality the aim of which to facilitate the fulfillment of the economic and other social (cultural, education, welfare, health) needs of its members. There is an equity contribution in case of cooperatives as well, but personal involvement in the operation of the cooperative plays a primary role. Anyone may join a cooperative free of discrimination, but for the foundation of a cooperative, unless prescribed otherwise by an act, at least the involvement of seven members and an investment fund share capital determined in its charter is necessary. The cooperative is responsible for its obligations with the assets in its property, while members of the cooperative are responsible for the obligations of the cooperative with their equity contributions.
3. Unlimited partnership ("közkereseti társaság")
An unlimited partnership (Hungarian name: "közkereseti társaság", abbreviated: "kkt.") is a company which is established in order to pursue joint business activities, and where the liability of the members for the obligations not covered by the company's assets is unlimited, joint and several. The members are to make available to the partnership their equity contribution. Unlimited partnerships have no individual legal personality.
4. Limited partnership ("betéti társaság")
A limited partnership (Hungarian name: "betéti társaság", abbreviated: "bt.") is a company which is established in order to pursue joint business activities, and where the liability of at least one member (the so-called general partner) for the obligations not covered by the company's assets is unlimited, and joint and several with the other general partners, while at least one other member (the so-called limited member) is only obliged to provide his/her equity contribution undertaken in the articles of association, but is not liable, with exceptions stipulated in the relevant act, for the obligations of the company. Limited partnerships have no legal personality.
5. Professional association ("egyesülés")
A professional association (Hungarian name: "egyesülés") is a non-profit organization with an independent legal personality, the primary aim of which is to coordinate the business activities of its members, but as an ancillary activity may pursue business activities as well. A professional association is a not directly profit-oriented, cooperative organization, where profit is not excluded, but is not the primary, dominant motive of the operations. Members bear unlimited, joint and several liability for debts in excess of the associations assets.
6. Joint enterprise ("közös vállalat")
A joint enterprise (Hungarian name: "közös vállalat", abbreviated: "kv.") is a company with legal personality, which is liable for its obligations first and foremost with its own assets. If the assets of the enterprise do not cover such obligations, the members shall, in proportion to their contribution, bear joint liability for the debts of the enterprise with their own assets as guarantors. After 1 July, 2006, no new joint enterprises may be founded.
7. Limited liability company ("korlátolt felelősségű társaság")
A limited liability company (Hungarian name: "korlátolt felelősségű társaság", abbreviated: "kft.") is a company with legal personality which is established with an initial capital (registered capital) consisting of capital contributions of a pre-determined sum, and where the obligations of members towards the company is limited to the provision of their capital contributions and to the provision of other pre-determined contributions, if any. The company bears unlimited liability towards its creditors with its own assets. The members of the company, with the exceptions stipulated in law, are not liable for the obligations of the company. The amount of the initial capital may not be less than three million HUF.
8. Company limited by shares ("részvénytársaság")
A company limited by shares (Hungarian name: "részvénytársaság") is a company founded with a share capital (registered capital) consisting of shares of a pre-determined number and face value, in the case of which the members (shareholders) of the company limited by shares is obliged to provide of the face value or issue value of the shares to the company, but are not liable, with the exceptions stipulated in law, are otherwise not liable for the obligations of the company. A company limited by shares may be founded in a closed group or publicly; its method of operation may be a close company ("abbreviated: "zrt.") or a public company ("abbreviated: "nyrt."). The share capital of a company limited by shares may not be less than twenty million HUF.
9. Sole proprietorship ("egyéni cég")
A private entrepreneur may be registered, upon request, in the register of companies as a sole proprietorship (Hungarian name: "egyéni cég", abbreviated name: "ec."). Sole proprietorships have no legal personality. The private entrepreneur bears unlimited responsibility with all his/her assets for its obligations originating from the company's activity.
10. Foreigners' commercial representative office in Hungary ("külföldiek magyarországi közvetlen kereskedelmi képviselete")
A commercial representative office (Hungarian name: "kereskedelmi képviselet") is an organizational unit founded directly by the foreign company which has no individual legal personality. Its activity is primarily to mediate contracts in the name of the foreign company, to participate in the preparation of contracts, to perform informative, advertising and promotional activities, but it does not conduct any business activities. A commercial representation may conclude contracts in the name and on behalf of the foreign parent company in connection with the operation of the representation.
11. Non-profit company ("közhasznú társaság")
Non-profit companies (Hungarian name: "közhasznú társaság", abbreviated: "kht.") are independent legal persons pursuing activities serving the common interests of society on a regular basis, without aiming to acquire profits or accumulate assets. Such companies may be established primarily not for business-like, not for profit activities, but for public interest activities. Aside the public interest activities, non-profit companies may engage in profit-oriented activities exclusively for the benefit of their non-profit activities and as an ancillary activity, but profits generated by the company's profit-oriented activities may not be distributed among the members. No new non-profit companies may be established after 1 July, 2007. Non-profit companies registered prior to this date may continue to operate until 30 June 2009 according to the rules applicable to non-profit companies.
12. Forest management organization ("erdőbirtokossági társulat")
A forest management organization (Hungarian name: "erdőbirtokossági társulat") is an economic operator established by the owners of one or more parts of land for the purpose of performing the tasks of forest management activities or related thereto. It may pursue exclusively forest management activities and activities directly related thereto. The organization has independent legal personality. An organization may be established by at least two land owners; only owners of land registered in the real estate registry as forest may become members of the organization. If the expenses of the organization are not covered by the incomes of the organization, a membership contribution may be levied on the members, in proportion to their stakes in the organization.
13. Water management organization ("vízgazdálkodási társulat")
A water management organization (Hungarian name: "vízgazdálkodási társulat") is an economic operator with a legal personality, established for the purpose of performing water management related public tasks. The members of the organization are the natural and legal persons or economic operators without a legal personality which territorially affected. Members are obliged to contribute to the costs of the public tasks of the organization proportionally to their stakes.
14. Hungarian branch office of a foreign company ("külföldi vállalkozás magyarországi fióktelepe")
A Hungarian branch office of a foreign company (Hungarian name: "külföldi vállalkozás magyarországi fióktelepe") is an organizational unit of a foreign company vested with financial autonomy, which has no legal personality. A foreign company may conduct entrepreneurial activities through a branch office or offices registered in Hungary. Unless prescribed otherwise by an act, the branch office has to proceed, and is entitled to proceed in legal relations of the foreign company with authorities or third parties having been established by means of the branch office, and in the legal relations with other branch offices of the foreign company.
15. Bailiff's office ("végrehajtói iroda")
A bailiff's office (Hungarian name: "végrehajtói iroda") is an organization with legal personality founded for an indefinite period of time to facilitate the activities of an independent court bailiff. A bailiff's office may be founded by natural persons or by business associations, and more than fifty (50) per cent of the voting rights in such offices must be controlled by a member who is an independent court bailiff, and only such bailiff members may become executive officers of the office.
16. European Economic Interest Grouping ("európai gazdasági egyesülés")
A European Economic Interest Grouping (Hungarian name: "európai gazdasági egyesülés"; abbreviated name: "ege") is a coordinative, integrative company without a legal personality. Its purpose is to enhance and improve the activity of its members, to remedy or increase the rate of success of their activities. Its activities have to be related to the activities of its members, and it is not among its aims to achieve a profit for itself. A European Economic Interest Grouping may be established by at least two members which operate or have their registered seats in different member states of the EU. If the attempt to collect the debt from the EEIG was not successful, the members bear unlimited, joint and several liability for the debts of the European Economic Interest Grouping. The members of a European Economic Interest Grouping pursue their activities in different member states, but all members have to operate or have their registered seat within the EU. An EEIG may not have more than 500 employees.
17. European company, Societé européenne ("európai részvénytársaság")
A European company with a Hungarian seat (Hungarian name: "európai részvénytársaság") is a company with a legal personality. The shareholders bear liability for the obligations of the company to the extent of their share contributions. The initial capital of the company is divided into shares, and the company may be established with an initial capital of at least EUR 120.000. Its establishment is possible in the territory of the member states, with the participation of at least two companies (legal persons) registered in the territory of the member states.
18. Public notary's office ("közjegyzői iroda")
A public notary's office (Hungarian name: "közjegyzői iroda") is an organization with legal personality which is established for an indefinite period of time in order to facilitate the performance of the tasks of a public notary. Its members may be public notaries appointed for the same location or natural persons. All public notaries are responsible for their own activities, and they are obliged to practice their profession in person in this case as well. A public notary's office may pursue regular business activities only to facilitate the activities of the public notary.
19. Hungarian business premises of a European Economic Interest Grouping with a foreign registered seat ("Külföldi székhelyű európai gazdasági egyesülés magyarországi telephelye")
If the registered seat of a European Economic Interest Grouping is outside Hungary, business premises in Hungary are to be registered in the company registry. Citizens of the members of the European Economic Area, and companies registered therein may provide services across the borders without an economic establishment as well.
20. European cooperative ("európai szövetkezet")
The fundamental aim of a European Cooperative or SCE (Hungarian name: "európai szövetkezet") is the fulfillment of the needs of its members and to improve the economic or social activities of its members, especially by means of agreements concluded with the members the aim of which is the provision of goods or services. It may also aim to fulfill the needs of its members by facilitating the involvement of its members in economic activities, in one or more European and/or national level cooperatives. A European cooperative is a legal person, its capital is divided into investment fund shares, and may be established with a registered capital of at least EUR 30.000. It may be established by at least five natural persons or organizations belonging under public law or private law, founded according to the laws of a member state, if at least two of them are registered in different member states. Unless prescribed otherwise in the statutes of the cooperative, the liability of none of the members may exceed the sum registered by them.