State-owned Enterprises


Governments need revenue to operate, and business is one means that can be used to provide it. A business that is owned by the government and operated for profit is a state-owned enterprise, also referred to as an SOE. The characteristics that define these businesses vary from one country to another.
A state-owned enterprise is usually a legal entity. This means that generally it can be held liable and can hold other entities liable. These businesses are often subject to many of the same regulations and procedures as a similar business that is not state-owned would be subject to. For example, the state-owned business may have to acquire licensing and permits and tailor its operations to be in compliance with federal or local law.

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