A corporation is a group or body of persons established under law and treated by law as an individual "person" with rights and liabilities similar to those of an individual although this legal unit is both distinct and apart from the rights and liabilities of those persons composing it. As opposed to companies, primary advantage of corporate existence is that investors' liability is usually limited to the amount they paid to purchase stock.


A corporation has certain posers and duties of a natural person, and it may continue for any length of time the law prescribes.


Corporations and companies are considered an artificial person at law.


Close corporation


Close corporation (or closely-held corporation) is a corporation with only a small number of shareholders.


De facto corporation


A corporation whose valid existence is recognized although it has failed to comply with technical legal requirements for formation.


De jure corporation


A corporation whose valid existence is recognized because of incorporators' full compliance with laws governing corporate formation. Compare De facto corporation.


Professional corporation


A corporation formed for the purpose of providing professional services, such as legal or accounting services.


S corporation


A closely-held corporation which is treated as a partnership under federal income tax law.


Nonprofit corporation


Any legal entity which has been incorporated under the law of its jurisdiction for purposes other than making profits for its owners or shareholders. For example, a religious corporation is a nonprofit corporation organized to promote religious purposes.
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