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- Created 2012-02-18
separate legal entity
that has been incorporated through a legislative or registration process established through legislation. Incorporated entities have
that are distinct from their employees and
, and may conduct business as either a
or not for profit business. Early incorporated entities were established by charter (i.e. by an
act granted by a monarch or passed by a parliament or legislature). Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration. In addition to
, registered corporations tend to have
, be owned by
s who can transfer their
to others, and controlled by a
board of directors
who are normally elected or appointed by the shareholders.
is widely used to describe large business corporations. In
and in the commonwealth countries, the term
is more widely used to describe the same sort of entity while the word
encompasses all incorporated entities. In American English, the word
can include entities such as
that would not be referred to as companies in British English as they are not a
separate legal entity
Despite not being human beings, corporations, as far as the law is concerned, are
s, and have many of the same rights and responsibilities as natural people do. Corporations can exercise
against real individuals and the state, and they can themselves be responsible for human rights violations. Corporations can be "dissolved" either by statutory operation, order of court, or voluntary action on the part of shareholders.
may result in a form of corporate failure, when creditors force the liquidation and dissolution of the corporation under court order, but it most often results in a restructuring of corporate holdings. Corporations can even be convicted of criminal offenses, such as
. However corporations are not considered living entities in the way that humans are.
from Wikipedia (last updated: 08 December), licensed under
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an Audio from a talk about the history of corporations and the English Law by Barrister Daniel Bennett
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