Company's or Companies?

Company’s or Companies? What’s the Difference?

When you are trying to decide between using company’s or companies, you might have a hard time. There is a ton of confusion regarding these words, and the use will depend on the context.

Companies is the plural form of the word company. Company’s is the possessive form of the same word. Several people still have trouble determining which word is correct, so we are going to dive deeper into when each should be used.

Companies

Companies is the plural version of the word company. You will use this form of the word when you are referring to more than one company. It can be easy to think that the proper plural spelling of company is companys, but since it ends with a Y, company is an exception.

When you need to make a word that ends with a Y, such as company, into a plural form, you need to remove the Y and replace it with IE before adding the S.

Examples
I’ve invested in multiple different companies to increase my portfolio.

After the pandemic, most companies are having a hard time hiring employees.

How many companies have you worked for?

Company’s

Company’s is the possessive form of company. You will use this form of the word when you are talking about something that belongs to a company. The apostrophe S shows ownership.

The possessive form of the word company is usually used to describe the physical belongings of the company. Some of these examples include products owned by the company, money held by the company, equipment owned by the company, and anything else you can physically touch.

Example
Customer satisfaction should be every company’s number one priority.

Great employees are essential for a company’s growth.

Our goal is to increase the company’s revenue by 25% this year.

Main Difference Between the Two

The main difference between these two words is the context that they are used. For example, one shows possession, and one shows plural. As with most possessive words, company’s is spelled with an apostrophe S. The apostrophe in this word is the easiest way to tell the difference between the two words and make sure you are using the right one in your sentence.

Remembering the Difference
These words can trip up even the most experienced writers sometimes. The easiest way to remember the difference between the two words is to think about the apostrophe S. This simple difference shows possession in most words (the cat’s toy, that boy’s car, etc.), and company is no different.

Plural words will not have an apostrophe unless it is a plural possessive. When the word is just plural, like companies, there is no need for an apostrophe.

What About Companies’?

To make things even more confusing, you might also see the word written as companies’. This form is used to show possession by multiple companies. It is mostly used when there is a product that belongs to two or more companies at one time.

Examples
Most companies’ profits decreased during the pandemic (This shows that multiple companies are having problems with their profits).

I think that’s those companies’ bulldozer (This shows that the bulldozer belongs to two companies at one time).

Summary
Company’s and companies are incredibly confusing, and it can be difficult to know when to use which. If you are discussing something that is owned by a company, you will use the possessive form of the word, which is company’s.

If you are discussing more than one company, you will use the plural form of the word, which is companies.

In the instance that you are discussing something that is owned by two or more companies, you would use the plural possessive, companies’.