firm

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Firm

Refers to an order to buy or sell that can be executed without confirmation for some fixed period. Also, a synonym for company.

Firm

1. A company or any other for-profit business.

2. Describing an order to buy or sell a security that may be executed without confirming the order with the person or company making it. Most firm orders have a time limit.

firm

see BUSINESS.

firm

or

company

or

supplier

or

enterprise

A transformation unit concerned with converting FACTOR INPUTS into higher-valued intermediate and final GOODS or SERVICES. The firm or BUSINESS is the basic producing/supplying unit and is a vital building block in constructing a theory of the market to explain how firms interact and how their pricing and output decisions influence market supply and price (see THEORY OF THE FIRM, THEORY OF MARKETS). The legal form of a firm consists of:
  1. a sole proprietorship: a firm owned and controlled (managed) by a single person, i.e. the type of firm that most closely approximates to that of the ‘firm’ in economic theory.
  2. a partnership: a firm owned and controlled by two or more persons who are parties to a partnership agreement.
  3. a JOINT-STOCK COMPANY: a firm that is owned by a group of ordinary shareholders and the capital of which is divided up into a number of SHARES. See COOPERATIVE.

The economic form of a firm consists of:

  1. a horizontal firm: a firm that is engaged in a single productive activity, e.g. motor-car assembly.
  2. a vertical firm: a firm that undertakes two or more vertically linked productive activities, e.g. the production of car components (clutches, steel body shells) and car assembly.
  3. a diversified or conglomerate firm: a firm that is engaged in a number of unrelated productive activities, e.g. car assembly and the production of bread.

For purposes of COMPANY LAW and the application of many company taxes and allowances (e.g. CORPORATION TAX and CAPITAL ALLOWANCES), a distinction is made between ‘small and medium-sized’ companies and ‘large’ companies. Small and medium-sized companies are defined as follows (Companies Act, 1995):

  1. annual turnover of less than £11.2 million;
  2. gross assets of under £5.6 million;
  3. not more than 250 employees.

In 2004 there were some 3,800,000 firms in the UK, of which 70% were run by the self-employed. Most businesses were small, with around 3,766,000 firms employing fewer than 50 people, 27,200 firms employing between 50 and 249 people, while only 6,900 firms employed more than 250 people. In terms of their contribution to GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT (GDP), however, firms employing more than 50 people contributed in excess of 75% of total output.

The total stock of firms fluctuates from year to year, depending on the net balance of new start-up businesses and those businesses ceasing trading (see INSOLVENCY). Generally, the total stock of firms increases when the economy is expanding (or as a result of some ‘special’ factor, e.g. the surge in newly established INTERNET businesses) and falls in a recession.

A final point to note is that with the increasing globalization of the world economy, MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES are becoming more prevalent in economies such as the UK's (see FOREIGN INVESTMENT for further details). See HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION, VERTICAL INTEGRATION, DIVERSIFICATION, BUSINESS CYCLE.

References in periodicals archive ?
1: Customer's gun hand firmly grasps the frame, trigger finger is straight and above the triggerguard, while the support hand firmly grasps slide with thumb forward.
But now the dust has settled and we've begun to get our heads around the situation, we're ready to get back down the business of making sure we keep things firmly on track.
The third is that, firmly relying on the people, our Party carried out a great new revolution of reform and opening up, creating, upholding, and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics," Jintao said.
Emma Johnstone, marketing manager at the Red Dragon Centre, added: "The increasing popularity of the series has put Cardiff Bay firmly on the list of tourist attractions in Cardiff.
With his feet firmly attached to the bottom of his fat little body, "Opus" must waddle about from side to side in order to move.
I do not believed that in a pluralistic society, no matter how important our own moral values are, no matter how firmly we hold to them and no matter how they regulate every aspect of our lives, we can permit this Legislature to enact the moral values of anybody, no matter how firmly they are held.
states that binocular vision "almost certainly was a predatory adaptation" that puts us binocular hominids firmly among predators, while our dentition firmly disputes this.
Attached firmly to these buzz terms are a potpourri of gadgets that are supposedly needed for their proper administration and execution.
regulatory authorities it will recall about 400,000 vehicles spanning four models to fix sensors for detecting the angle of rotating crankshafts and firmly set interior console boxes, company officials said Wednesday.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that "Confirmation perfects baptismal grace; it is the sacrament that gives the Holy Spirit in order to root us more deeply in the divine filiation, it incorporates us more firmly into Christ, it strengthens our bond with the church, it associates us more closely with her mission, and it helps us bear witness to the Christian faith in words accompanied by deeds.
Look at the photo of Matt's grip, Hate how the base and palm of the hand press firmly against the left side of the pistol's grip.
Its CEO, Lee Raymond, is firmly opposed to the idea that fossil fuels cause global warming, and to proposals in Congress to cap emissions.