Trade associations are NGOs formed by market-actor enterprises based on commonalities of economy and interests, and which have characteristics of communities (). Based on definitions of the concept, properties and characteristics of trade associations, this article reviews their development from guilds in feudal society () to modern society’s trade councils (), and, finally, to the trade associations () of today. Their development is summarized quantitatively and qualitatively, both in terms of systems and structures. Their three primary functions (representation, coordination, and service) are analyzed, as are their economic, political, and social roles. Furthermore, an in-depth analysis of their structures and improvements to governance systems are analyzed, as are the state of their administrative systems and innovations to their administrative systems. Finally, legislative aspects are analyzed and policy recommendations presented.