Spin-off vs Subsidiary – Difference and Comparison

What is a Spin-Off?

Creating a new firm or organization is a corporate action known as a spin-off existing one by either selling or distributing new company shares in the form of a dividend to existing shareholders. The new company is then established as a legal entity with its management, employees, assets, and liabilities.

Spin-offs are used to separate a business from its parent company, allowing the parent to focus on its core operations and can be beneficial to both the parent company and the new company.

Spin-offs are used to create more excellent shareholder value. By separating a portion of a company’s operations, the parent company can create a new company that can better focus on areas of growth and potential.

In addition to creating shareholder value, spin-offs can provide tax advantages for the parent company. By spinning off a business, the parent company can be relieved of certain liabilities, such as taxes, that it may have incurred if it had kept the business as part of its operations.

Spin-offs are used to diversify a company’s portfolio. By spinning off a business, the parent company can gain access to new markets and technology while at the same time reducing its exposure to certain risks.

What is a Subsidiary?

 A subsidiary is a business entity owned or controlled by another parent company. A subsidiary is a legal entity separate from its parent company and taxed separately.

Subsidiaries have several advantages for the parent company. These include spreading risk by diversifying the parent company’s operations, gaining access to new markets, and benefiting from economies of scale. Subsidiaries also allow a parent company to access new sources of capital and manage taxes by shifting profits and losses to different jurisdictions.

Subsidiaries can also create a separation between the parent company and the subsidiary’s operations and can be beneficial in limiting the parent company’s exposure to the subsidiary’s risks.

Subsidiaries can be owned and operated by the parent company, or other entities, such as individuals or other companies, can own them. In the case of a subsidiary owned by another company, the parent company is referred to as the holding company. The holding company controls the subsidiary’s operations but does not own the subsidiary.

Subsidiaries are subject to the same regulations and laws as their parent company, including corporate taxes, labor, and employment laws.

Difference Between Spin-off and Subsidiary

  1. A spin-off is riskier than a subsidiary since it is a new business venture with unknown potential.
  2. A spin-off issues its stock, while a subsidiary may not have a public stock offering.
  3. A spin-off must meet the exact regulatory requirements of any other business, while a subsidiary may not be subject to the same regulations.
  4. A spin-off has its independent management team, while the parent company may maintain control of a subsidiary.
  5. While a parent business may be liable for the obligations of its subsidiary, a spin-off is only responsible for its debts.

Comparison Between Spin-off and Subsidiary

Parameters of ComparisonSpin-OffSubsidiary
Ownershipa company that is spun off from its parent companya company that a parent company wholly or partially owns
Independenceseparate business with its management and operationscontrolled by its parent company
Purposecreated to focus on a new business areacreated to help the parent company expand into a new market
Taxationtaxed as a new entitytreated as a part of the parent company for tax purposes
Financingmay need to raise additional capitalmay receive funding from the parent company


  1. Spin-Offs: What Are the Gains? – ProQuest
  2. Subsidiary‚Äźspecific advantages in multinational enterprises – Rugman – 2001 – Strategic Management Journal – Wiley Online Library