Hi Cyntlhiadiane ~
As a general rule, a "subsidiary" is a business which is wholly owned
or controlled (or at least over 50% owned or controlled) by another
Here's a definition from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996 on
the FindLaw.com site:
"... a company having the majority of its stock owned
by another company (compare affiliate)
Note: The parent company of a subsidiary generally has
the same policy-making powers as any majority owner and
can do such things as appoint directors and hire
officers. The subsidiary is controlled by the parent
through these powers, and the parent may be held liable
for the acts of the subsidiary if the subsidiary is
found to be an instrumentality of the parent."
Or Black's Law Dictionary:
"Subsidiary. Under ano ther's control. Term is often
short for "subsidiary corpopration"; ie., opne that is
run and owned by another company which is called the
"Subsidiary corporation. One in which another corporation
(i.e., parent) owns at least a majority of the shares,
and thus has control. Said of a company more than 50
percent of whose voting stock is owned by another."
- Source: Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition
If you want other definitions (most of which reflect the above
information), you might want to try Google's definition search, by
entering "define:subsidiary" (without the quotation marks) in Google's
To answer your question ~ a corporation, partnership, or other company
can own a subdiary company; but to be regarded a subsidiary, at least
51% of its ownership must be by the 'parent' company. The distinction
being that the subsidiary is its own entity, and not just a 'part' of
the parent company.
Thus, you can have "XYZ Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of ABC
Company" or "XYZ Company, a subsidiary of ABC Company" which has its
own individual business structure, yet it's controlling interest is
Search Strategies ~
Google search - "define:subsidiary"
Black's Law Dictionary "subsidiary, subsidiary corporation"
Google Answers Researcher