<div><p>This is a complicated issue. There are some cases where a strict application of this idea would be problematic. In the performing arts sector, it's extremely common for companies to begin as sole proprietorships or fictitious business names, and later, once they become more established, to become non-profits. (This is from a strictly US perspective, I'm afraid -- I have direct experience with this here, but not elsewhere.) So technically, the non-profit is a new legal entity, but from a performance history standpoint, requiring multiple entities would be extremely confusing. On the other hand, it could be quite valuable to know that, for example, the current company called "General Motors" is not the same thing as the company that was until recently known as "General Motors" (due to complex getting-out-of-bankruptcy shenanigans).</p>
<p>For very contemporary companies, the question could possibly be decided by whether or not the government assigns a new identifier (tax id, CIK, ABS, etc.) to the new entity. This data is often only available for certain classes of organizations, what (if anything) is available is extremely dependent on the government in question, and, from what I've see, the data is generally only available from a fairly recent period onwards, so this is probably not, in practice, the most useful metric to use.</p></div>