Company vs. Corporation

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Company and Corporation is that the Company is a association or collection of individuals, whether natural persons, juridic persons, or a mixture of both and Corporation is a separate legal entity that has been incorporated through a legislative or registration process established through legislation

  • Company

    A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity made up of an association of people, be they natural, legal, or a mixture of both, for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise. Company members share a common purpose, and unite to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms, such as:

    voluntary associations, which may include nonprofit organizations

    business entities with an aim of gaining a profit

    financial entities and banksA company or association of persons can be created at law as a legal person so that the company in itself can accept limited liability for civil responsibility and taxation incurred as members perform (or fail to discharge) their duty within the publicly declared “birth certificate” or published policy.

    Companies as legal persons may associate and register themselves collectively as other companies – often known as a corporate group. When a company closes, it may need a “death certificate” to avoid further legal obligations.

  • Corporation

    A corporation is an organization, usually a group of people or a company, authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law. Early incorporated entities were established by charter (i.e. by an ad hoc act granted by a monarch or passed by a parliament or legislature). Most jurisdictions now allow the creation of new corporations through registration.

    Corporations come in many different types but are usually divided by the law of the jurisdiction where they are chartered into two kinds: by whether they can issue stock or not, or by whether they are formed to make a profit or not. Corporations can be divided by the number of owners: corporation aggregate or corporation sole. The subject of this article is a corporation aggregate. A corporation sole is a legal entity consisting of a single (“sole”) incorporated office, occupied by a single (“sole”) natural person.

    Where local law distinguishes corporations by the ability to issue stock, corporations allowed to do so are referred to as “stock corporations”, ownership of the corporation is through stock, and owners of stock are referred to as “stockholders” or “shareholders”. Corporations not allowed to issue stock are referred to as “non-stock” corporations; those who are considered the owners of a non-stock corporation are persons (or other entities) who have obtained membership in the corporation and are referred to as a “member” of the corporation.

    Corporations chartered in regions where they are distinguished by whether they are allowed to be for profit or not are referred to as “for profit” and “not-for-profit” corporations, respectively.

    There is some overlap between stock/non-stock and for-profit/not-for-profit in that not-for-profit corporations are always non-stock as well. A for-profit corporation is almost always a stock corporation, but some for-profit corporations may choose to be non-stock. To simplify the explanation, whenever “Stockholder” or “shareholder” is used in the rest of this article to refer to a stock corporation, it is presumed to mean the same as “member” for a non-profit corporation or for a profit, non-stock corporation.

    Registered corporations have legal personality and their shares are owned by shareholders whose liability is generally limited to their investment. Shareholders do not typically actively manage a corporation; shareholders instead elect or appoint a board of directors to control the corporation in a fiduciary capacity. In most circumstances, a shareholder may also serve as a director or officer of a corporation.

    In American English, the word corporation is most often used to describe large business corporations. In British English and in the Commonwealth countries, the term company is more widely used to describe the same sort of entity while the word corporation encompasses all incorporated entities. In American English, the word company can include entities such as partnerships that would not be referred to as companies in British English as they are not a separate legal entity.

    Late in the 19th century, a new form of company having the limited liability protections of a corporation, and the more favorable tax treatment of either a sole proprietorship or partnership was developed. While not a corporation, this new type of entity became very attractive as an alternative for corporations not needing to issue stock. In Germany, the organization was referred to as Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung or GmbH. In the last quarter of the 20th Century this new form of non-corporate organization became available in the United States and other countries, and was known as the limited liability company or LLC. Since the GmbH and LLC forms of organization are technically not corporations (even though they have many of the same features), they will not be discussed in this article.

  • Company (noun)

    A team; a group of people who work together professionally.

  • Company (noun)

    A group of individuals who work together for a common purpose.

    “A company of actors.”

  • Company (noun)

    A unit of approximately sixty to one hundred and twenty soldiers, typically consisting of two or three platoons and forming part of a battalion.

    “the boys in Company C”

  • Company (noun)

    A unit of firefighters and their equipment.

    “It took six companies to put out the fire.”

  • Company (noun)

    The entire crew of a ship.

  • Company (noun)

    An entity having legal personality, and thus able to own property and to sue and be sued in its own name; a corporation.

  • Company (noun)

    Any business, whether incorporated or not, that manufactures or sells products (also known as goods), or provides services as a commercial venture.

  • Company (noun)

    Social visitors or companions.

    “Keep the house clean; I have company coming.”

  • Company (noun)


    “I treasure your company.”

  • Company (verb)

    To accompany, keep company with.

  • Company (verb)

    To associate.

  • Company (verb)

    To be a lively, cheerful companion.

  • Company (verb)

    To have sexual intercourse.

  • Corporation (noun)

    A body corporate, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.

  • Corporation (noun)

    The municipal governing body of a borough or city, in force since 1974 and obsolete except in the City of London.

  • Corporation (noun)

    In Fascist Italy, a joint association of employers’ and workers’ representatives.

  • Corporation (noun)

    A protruding belly; a paunch.

  • Company (noun)

    a commercial business

    “a company director”

    “a shipping company”

    “the Ford Motor Company”

  • Company (noun)

    the fact or condition of being with another or others, especially in a way that provides friendship and enjoyment

    “I really enjoy his company”

  • Company (noun)

    a person or people regarded as pleasant (or unpleasant) to be with

    “you’re not much company—I might as well go home”

    “she is excellent company”

  • Company (noun)

    the person or group of people whose society one is currently sharing

    “he was silent among such distinguished company”

  • Company (noun)

    a visiting person or group of people

    “I’m expecting company”

  • Company (noun)

    a number of individuals gathered together

    “the Mayor addressed the assembled company”

  • Company (noun)

    a body of soldiers, especially the smallest subdivision of an infantry battalion, typically commanded by a major or captain

    “B Company of the Cheshire Regiment”

  • Company (noun)

    a group of actors, singers, or dancers who perform together

    “a national opera company”

  • Company (noun)

    a group of Guides.

  • Company (noun)

    a flock of wigeon (ducks)

    “a company of wigeons occasionally numbers several thousand birds”

  • Company (verb)

    associate with; keep company with

    “these men which have companied with us all this time”

  • Company (verb)

    accompany (someone)

    “the fair dame, companied by Statius and myself”

Oxford Dictionary

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