Corporation Definition


A legal structure authorized by state law that allows a business to organize as a separate legal entity from its owners. A corporation is often referred to as an "artificial legal person," meaning that, like an individual, it can enter into contracts, sue and be sued, and do the many other things necessary to carry on a business. One advantage of incorporating is that a corporation's owners (shareholders) are legally shielded from personal liability for the corporation's liabilities and debts (unpaid taxes are often an exception). (See also: nonprofit corporation, C corporation, S corporation)