Glossary of Terms

Family Tree
As companies today rapidly grow and change, it's more important than ever to understand how an organization is structured. D&B's Family Tree allows you to more easily view and assess risk across different parts of an organization by showing the linkage relationship between different companies within a corporate family.
Linkage is reflected in D&B's database when one business entity has financial or legal responsibility for and control over another, creating a Headquarters/Branch or Parent/Subsidiary relationship. Linkage is updated monthly and reflects mergers, acquisitions, openings, and closings.
The following family members are shown in D&B's database:
  • Parent: a corporation that owns more than 50% of another corporation. A parent can also be a headquarters if it owns branches.
  • Headquarters: a family member that has branches or divisions reporting to it and is financially responsible for those branches or divisions. If headquarters is more than 50% owned by another corporation, it will also be a subsidiary. If it owns more than 50% of another corporation, then it is also a parent.
  • Domestic ultimate: a subsidiary within the global family tree that is the highest-ranking member within a specific country.
  • Global ultimate: the top most responsible entity within the corporate family tree.
  • Branch: a secondary location of a company's headquarters. It has no legal responsibility for its debts, even though bills may be paid from the branch location.
  • Subsidiary: a corporation that is more than 50% owned by another corporation and will have a different legal business name from its parent company. There are also single location subsidiaries where the subsidiary does not have anything reporting to it.
  • Division: like a branch, it is a secondary location of a business. A division carries out specific business operations related to the headquarters under a divisional name. Divisions look similar to branches in D&B WorldBase and carry a branch code.
  • Affiliates: companies that are related to a business through common ownership by the direct parent company. All of them share the same parent company. A direct parent company is a corporation that owns more than 50% of another corporation's capital stock.
If a business has more than 25 branches, subsidiaries, or affiliates, you will be notified. You can use D&B's Global Family Linkage product to purchase the complete list.
Note that there are other types of family relationships that are not linked in the D&B database because the affiliated company has no legal obligation for the debts of the other company. Examples of these types of relationships include businesses affiliated through common officers or situations where one corporation owns a part or minority interest in another (50% or less).
 
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