Definition of ‘Parent Company’
A company that controls other companies by owning an influential amount of voting stock or control. Parent companies will typically be larger firms that exhibit control over one or more small subsidiaries in either the same industry or other industries. Parent companies can be either hands-on or hands-off with subsidiaries, depending on the amount of managerial control given to subsidiary managers.
Companies can become parent companies by many different means. The two most common ways are through the acquisitions of smaller companies and the spinoff or creation of subsidiaries. For the purposes of accounting, parent companies report results of subsidiaries on audited statements when subsidiaries fall under the same corporate identity.