Limited liability Imperial Charter
A Limited liability Imperial Charter is an Imperially granted charter allowing a company to engage in interstellar commerce.
Applications to receive an Imperial charter are handled by the Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry scrutinizes each one to ensure that the applicants are reputable people who can be trusted to behave honorably even in the absence of supervision. A charter is subject to periodic renewal, and this is an opportunity for the Ministry to review the company's past behavior, force it to change practices that have generated complaints, and inspect the books.
There is no fee for receiving an Imperial charter, but a 2.0% share of the company must be given to the Emperor, who will usually assign their control to a local noble.
The abbreviation 'LIC' has had multiple interpretations over time including:
- Limited Imperial Corporation
- Limited Imperial Company
- Licensed Imperial Company
However, the actual definition of LIC is Limited liability Imperial Charter.
This fallacy even crops up in official publications on occasion.
History and background
Except for a few corporations pre-dating the Imperium (e.g. Achenaar Antilles Line, GSbAG, Kirgaasanakka Publishing, Ling-Standard Products, Makhidkarun, Naasirka, Sharurshid, Zirunkariish), all corporations engaging in interstellar commerce are required to possess such a charter. This is indicated by the letters LIC following the company name.
References and contributors
- John Harshman, Marc Miller, Loren Wiseman. Library Data (A-M) (Game Designers Workshop, 1981), 40.
- GURPS Traveller: Behind the Claw
- GURPS Traveller: Far Trader
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science