What is a Sister Company? Advantage, Character, 5 Facts

A sister company is a subsidiary of the same parent firm as another company. The two firms may function independently and are only connected because they are siblings — they share the same parent. Let’s learn from the article below.

What is a Sister Company?

A sister business is a corporation with tight ties to a different company with a distinct name and staff. Both businesses are owned by the same parent firm and are subsidiaries of the bigger business.

What is a Sister Company?

Despite the fact that some subsidiaries are not closely linked and may have limited interactions with one another, others might have a tight relationship and are instances of sister firms. This type of partnership is available between any number of businesses.

Character Of a Sister Company

Sister companies may be quite different

Not all sister firms necessarily operate in the same industry. Their activities and merchandise may be entirely dissimilar.

Exxon Mobil (oil & gas), Coca-Cola (soft drinks), and American Express are subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which is controlled by multibillionaire Warren Buffett (financial services).

Sometimes, sister firms in the same field may appear to be fierce competitors, although they are really controlled by the same parent corporation. ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil, for instance, are fierce competitors in the oil & gas industry, yet are also owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

The British multinational Virgin Group Ltd., established by billionaire Richard Branson and Nik Powell, comprises of more than 400 sister firms that operate in several industries, including telecommunications, media, food & drink, healthcare, transportation, and financial services.

What is a Sister Company?

Some operate in the same sector

Volkswagen, SEAT, Porsche, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Bentley, Audi, Skoda, Ducati, Scania, Neoplan, and MAN are all subsidiaries of the German automaker Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft. These businesses are all related. The Volkswagen Group operates more than 340 companies in 150 countries.

Relationships of a Sister Company

Sister corporations are subsidiaries of the same parent corporation. Each of the sister firms works independently and may have no ties other than a common parent company.

Sister firms can be highly distinct from one another, creating distinct products and marketing to distinct demographics. Berkshire Hathaway, for instance, is the parent firm of several subsidiary businesses, such as American Express, Coca-Cola, and Exxon Mobil.

Due to the fact that both subsidiary and sister firms are entirely independent legal entities, it is not always apparent whether companies are subsidiaries or have sister companies. There is no requirement for interaction between sister firms or subsidiaries.

In certain instances, sibling firms may really compete in the same market. Exxon Mobile Corporation and ConocoPhillips, for instance, compete in the gas and oil sectors while being controlled by the same parent company, Berkshire Hathaway.

What is a Sister Company?

Advantages of Sister Companies

Shared marketing and advertising efforts might be advantageous for sister firms with comparable markets. In certain circumstances, sister businesses may negotiate commercial partnerships that give preferential pricing or access to information or products.

However, sister corporations continue to exist as independent entities and enjoy no direct tax advantages. As a firm evolves into a conglomerate, the distinctions between its subsidiaries and sister companies may become less distinct.

Viacom Media Networks, Nickelodeon, BET, and Spike, are sibling companies of Viacom Media Networks. Advertising packages may be obtained more effectively and affordably when these channels are owned.

Consumers are acquainted with Gap locations, but Gap Inc. is the parent company of Old Navy, Athleta, Banana Republic, Intermix, and a number of other well-known retail companies. Each of them is, in effect, a sibling firm with its own market niche.

What’s the Difference Between Subsidiary And Sister Company?

The relationship between sister firms and subsidiaries and their parent company is the primary distinction between them.

You can refer to another company as a sister company if it is owned by the same parent organization, or you can refer to a firm as a subsidiary if it is owned by a different parent organization.

What is a Sister Company?

Here is a summary of significant distinctions resulting from these organizational relationships:


Typically, the extent of independence between sister firms is determined by their parents. Sister firms may operate autonomously, rely on one another for certain functions, or have shared objectives.

For instance, a worldwide grocery store chain may own many food brands, each of which operates separately.

Alternately, the same multinational corporation may request that all of its subsidiaries conduct the same advertising campaign or market the same product in their stores, therefore lowering the amount of autonomy between the sister companies.

Frequently, parent organizations determine the degree of autonomy granted to subsidiaries. Occasionally, subsidiaries may operate completely independently from their parent organization, but more frequently, parent companies oversee, advise, or control several operational elements of their subsidiaries.

For instance, a parent firm may instruct its subsidiaries on the items they may offer, their prices, and their marketing techniques.

Alternately, parent businesses may just request that their subsidiaries implement a specified profit margin or sell specific items, therefore avoiding operational operations.

What is a Sister Company?


Although this is not always the case, parent organizations frequently require sister firms to collaborate in order to accomplish shared organizational objectives.

For instance, these shared objectives may include promoting the brand of the parent organization or acting in accordance with the same mission statement or principles.

In addition, sibling firms may market the same product or service together. For instance, two sister baking enterprises may both advertise the usage of their parent company’s cooking oil in their recipes.

Additionally, subsidiaries frequently interact with their parent companies, but the connection is typically more organized. As subsidiaries are entities that belong to a parent organization, the parent organization often starts and encourages cooperation.

For instance, a parent company may request that all of its subsidiaries work together to promote a certain charity or cause.


In certain instances, sister firms may compete in the same sector, while in others, they may be in wholly distinct markets. For instance, an airline conglomerate may possess many airlines that compete for the same customers and operate in the same territories.

Alternately, a public transportation conglomerate may own a business that operates a train line and another that operates many bus routes, therefore reducing direct rivalry between these two sister companies.

What is a Sister Company?

Typically, corporations with subsidiaries do not develop products or services that directly compete with those of their daughter companies, however this is not always the case.

Subsidiaries may engage in competition with their parent firm, but any money generated by a subsidiary also belongs to the parent company.

If a parent firm publishes its own products or services without the assistance of a subsidiary brand, they may wind up competing with the items that their subsidiaries manufacture.

A global corporation that owns a subsidiary soap firm, for instance, may also issue a soap product under its own brand that competes with the subsidiary’s products.


Sister firms are subsidiaries that are tied to one another because they have a same parent organization. In most situations, each sister firm functions separately from the others and produces unrelated product lines.

Occasionally, sibling firms are direct competitors in the same industry. In such cases, in an effort to differentiate sister firms, the parent corporation frequently enforces distinct branding strategies upon the newly formed entities. This facilitates each sister’s access to diverse markets, hence enhancing their respective prospects of success.

However, there are exceptions to this norm when sister businesses collaborate. This may involve the consolidation of marketing desks or the provision of additional special prices on their separate stocks. For instance, a fabric company and a furniture merchant may collaborate to jointly make and market upholstered items.

By utilizing the same vendors and suppliers, sister firms with similar target customers may be able to save expenses and secure lower prices.

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Pat Moriarty
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