- For the decision, see Indian Trade Company
|Available only with the Wealth of Nations DLC or the Dharma DLC enabled.|
A trade company is a collection of provinces in a trade company region that give the owner less tax, manpower, and sailors, but more trade power, trade goods (including production income) and naval force limit, than if the owner included them in states. Trade companies may be formed by any nation in any of the 63 trade company regions throughout the old world, provided they are not on the same superregion as the nation's capital. They are listed in the subject nation panel in the UI, but, unlike the English HEIC or Dutch VOC in real history, they do not actually have their own armies or administration – the land remains entirely under the nation's direct control.
Each trade company region is associated with a trade node, and contains exactly those provinces that are part of that trade node. To start a trade company, you can add all your eligible provinces in the node at once in the trade node UI, or one by one in the province UI. To be eligible, a province must not be part of a state, and any province that becomes part of a state will suffer automatic removal from the trade company. Removing a province from a trade company gives the "Left Trade Company" modifier for 5 years, preventing it from being added back during its duration as well as giving a −200% local goods produced modifier and removing any purchased investments in that province. Note that moving your capital to a superregion where you have provinces in a trade company remove them from that trade company and apply this modifier.
Colonizing provinces in a trade company region does not change the local culture and religion, unlike in other regions; this rule applies even if the nation is unable to add such provinces to a trade company due to its capital being in the same continent as the provinces.
Effects of trade companies
Provinces in a trade company are subject to the following modifiers (additive as usual):
|+100%||Local trade power|
|+0.5||Naval force limit|
|−200%||Local missionary strength|
|+25%||Province governing cost|
Additionally, trade company provinces:
- Have minimum autonomy set to 90%
- Are affected by the minimum autonomy in Territories modifier
- For Production income the local autonomy effect is halved
- Ignore all penalties from intolerance of the local religion or an unaccepted culture.
- Do not contribute to religious unity, regardless of religion.
- Do not have the embraced institutions of their owner spread to them. However, institutions may still spread through adjacency.
- Allow centers of trade to be upgraded.
The Common Sense DLC allows one subject interaction for trade companies. A trade company's trade power may be increased by 50% at the cost of +0.03 inflation to its owner per year. This interaction may be toggled on and off at will.
All provinces in the trade company region controlled by nations other than the trade company owner, and which are one or more institutions behind him, get a bonus to goods produced equal to half the percentage of the region's trade power the trade company controls. (The value of trade in a node depends on the value of the goods produced, so this benefits both the natives and the traders). Light ships protecting trade do not contribute to this, and can thus in certain cases cause the nation to earn less from trade as fewer goods will be produced. This bonus doesn't overlap with a merchant republic's similar bonus to goods produced.
List of trade company regions
Please help with verifying or updating this section. It was last verified for version 1.29.
|Continent||Trade company region||Colour||Trade Node||Key provinces|
|Africa||West African Charter||Ivory Coast|
|Africa||South African Charter||Cape of Good Hope|
|Africa||East African Charter||Zanzibar|
|Asia||West Indian Charter||Gujarat|
|Asia||East Indian Charter||Bengal|
|Asia||North Indian Charter||Doab|
(East Micronesia, Polynesia,
West Micronesia only)
(Vogelkop Peninsula only)
|Moluccan Charter||The Moluccas|
|Asia||South Chinese Charter||Canton|
|Asia||East Chinese Charter||Hangzhou|
|Asia||North Chinese Charter||Beijing|
Note that while the Philippine and Moluccan Charters have provinces which are located in Oceania, these provinces are usually of low development and unlike to be enough to form powerful trade companies (for countries with Asian capitals). In particular, the Vogelkop Peninsula is one province short of the requirement for the generic "Expand Overseas" mission (5 provinces within one trade company region, across 3 regions).
Trade company investments
|Available only with the Dharma DLC enabled.|
When a nation has established a trade company they can increase their returns by investing in them. These are accessed through the state interface and are visible at the bottom. There are 5 investments (of 2 tiers) available to build per area that provide their benefit to the entire area. There are also 5 related special investments, only one of them can be built in each trade company region.
- Main article: Diplomacy#Charter_company
Charter company diplomatic action allows a nation to purchase a province in a Trade Company region from another nation.
Trade company penalties
Regarding the penalties of trade company:
- The reduction in tax -- sometimes manpower and sailors as well -- are counteracted by the removal of unaccepted culture penalties and autonomy penalties. The autonomy modifiers are applied multiplicatively after base tax/manpower/sailor has been modified by additive modifiers such as culture and trade company modifiers. Thus, as long as the additive modifiers do not sum to or below zero -- tax is usually helped by national modifiers -- the tax amount reduced by the -100% penalty is often mitigated by half from removal of culture and autonomy penalties.
- (DLC required) Various Trade Company Investments can mitigate the initial tax/manpower/sailor penalty. (Manpower and sailor investments are under “Governance”. As of 1.27, Governance investments are "hidden" in-game with a side scroll.)
Other unspecified benefits
Other benefits not specified in-game include:
- Trade Company provinces do not count towards Religious Unity. Thus, creating trade companies is a good alternative to religious conversion.
- Trade Company provinces do not count towards corruption due to having too many territories.
- Since trade company provinces do not gain embraced institution spread modifier, adding newly conquered Asian and African provinces to Trade Company can be a strategy to slow down institution spread and thus maintaining tech advantage over Asian and African countries.
Trade control by trade companies
As adding a province to a trade company doubles the local trade power, and at the same time if a trade company controls more than 51% of the trade powers in its trade node, the owner gains an extra merchant, centers of trade and estuaries which give flat bonuses to base local trade power are of greater importance to trade companies than other provinces of similar development. Constructing trade buildings (and if finances allow, manufactories) in these provinces are valuable for the same reasons. Increasing mercantilism can also help wrestling trade controls for trade companies as each point of mercantilism adds 2% of provincial trade power.
South Africa Charter is a notable trade company region as it is initially fully unoccupied. Thus, any first colonizer of Cape (1177) can gain and maintain a merchant through trade control with little investment.