As the editors claim in the introduction of this edited volume, recent literature has shed light on the ‘considerable agency exercised by corporations in certain global theaters’ and has noticed the need to ‘proscribe corporations a global role’.1 This chapter will primarily focus on the East India companies and especially on the Dutch East India company (voc). It will ask how these East India companies managed to organize its activities that spanned the globe and if the editors of this volume are right in presenting them as protagonists in global history. Although they are the clearest example of corporations with ‘a global role’, historians have until now not necessarily considered them part of Global History. The study of East India companies more often than not has a strong national bias that stands in the way of more abstract conceptualization of their essential form. [...]