- 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 16 trade company regions throughout Africa and Asia, provided they are not on the same continent as the nation's capital; this restriction puts African and especially Asian nations at a great disadvantage, unless they move their capital to Europe or Oceania. 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.
A country that has completed Expansion ideas may fabricate claims on any overseas province in a trade company region, even without the Wealth of Nations expansion.
Colonizing provinces in a trade company region does not change the local culture and religion, unlike in other regions.
Effects of trade companies
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.25.
Provinces in a trade company are subject to the following modifiers (additive as usual):
The following table may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.28.
|+100%||Local trade power|
|+0.5||Naval force limit|
|−100%||Local manpower modifier|
|−100%||Local sailors modifier|
|−100%||Local tax modifier|
|−200%||Local missionary strength|
Additionally, trade company provinces:
- Have minimum autonomy set to 0%
- 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
This section may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. The last version it was verified as up to date for was 1.21.
|Continent||Trade company region||Colour||Trade Node||Key provinces|
|Africa||West African Charter||Ivory Coast|
|Africa||South African Charter||Cape of Good Hope||INH: Cape (1177)|
|Africa||East African Charter||Zanzibar|
|Asia||West Indian Charter||Indus|
|Asia||Konkan Charter||Goa||CCOT: Surat (517), Goa (2030)|
|Asia||East Indian Charter||Bengal|
|Asia||Coromandel Charter||Ceylon||CCOT: Malabar (534), Tondainadu (539), Coromandel (540), Kotte (574)|
|Asia||North Indian Charter||Doab||ICOT: Delhi (522), Central Doab (524)|
|Asia||Burma Charter||Burma||ICOT: Ava (584)|
|Asia||Indonesian Charter||Malacca||CCOT: Malacca (596), Brunei (636), Pasai (2673)|
|Asia||Philippine Charter||Philippines||INH: Manila (656)|
|Asia||Moluccan Charter||The Moluccas||CCOT: Kalapa (630), Makassar (541)|
|Asia||South Chinese Charter||Canton|
|Asia||East Chinese Charter||Hangzhou|
|Asia||North Chinese Charter||Beijing||CCOT: Beijing (1816)|
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 each of which is limited to 1 per charter, that provide their benefit to the nation as a whole or to the entire trade company region.
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 for 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 and is thus 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 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.