1. Money
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

What is an Affiliate


Designers at work at workstations
Reza Estakhrian/ Stone/ Getty Images

The term affiliate has two general definitions in business contexts:

In corporate law and taxes, an affiliate is a company that is related to another company, usually by being in the position of a member or a subordinate role. Two companies may be affiliated if one company has control over the other or if both are controlled by a third company.

One corporation can be affiliated with another corporation by shareholdings, by holding a minority interest, or one corporation might be a subsidiary of another.

In online retailing, one company may affiliate with another to sell products or services. The seller has a website, on which affiliates may sell products. The seller has control over the site and pays a commission to affiliates. This relationship is sometimes called "affiliate marketing."

Amazon, for example, has affiliates called "Amazon Associates." The Associates sell on Amazon's web site, and Amazon takes a percentage of the sale price for its fee.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.