The German term Aktiengesellschaft (abbreviated AG) means a corporation which is limited by shares, i.e., owned by shareholders. It may be traded on the stock market. The term is used in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The legal basis of the AG is, in Germany and Austria, the repsective Aktiengesetz (abbr. AktG), in Switzerland a part of the Obligationenrecht (OR). As the law requires all corporations to specify their legal form (which gives the limitation of liability) in the name, all German and Austrian stock corporations bear Aktiengesellschaft or AG as part (usually suffix) of their name.