joint-stock company n : a company (usually unincorporated) which has the capital of its members pooled in a common fund; transferable shares represent ownership interest; shareholders are legally liable for all debts of the company joint-stock company (law), a species of partnership, consisting generally of a large number of members, having a capital divided, or agreed to be divided, into shares, the shares owned by any member being usually transferable without the consent of the rest... see joint
A joint-stock company is a business entity where different stocks can be bought and owned by shareholders. Each shareholder owns company stock in proportion, evidenced by his or her shares (certificates of ownership). This allows for the unequal ownership of a business with some shareholders owning a bigger proportion of a company than others do. Shareholders are able to transfer their shares to others without any effects to the continued existence of the company.