Corporations have actually a number of distinguishing characteristics. The most significant of this are:

Separate legit ExistenceContinuous LifeAbility to get CapitalTransferabilityLimited LiabilityGovernment RegulationsTaxationGovernance and Management

Let’s look at at each of these in turn.

You are watching: Which of the following is a characteristic of a corporation?

Separate legit Existence

In 1819, chief Justice man Marshall characterized a corporation together “an synthetic being, invisible, intangible, and existing only in contemplation of law.” This definition is the foundation for the prevailing legal translate that a coporation, group is an entity separate and distinct indigenous the world who own it.

Continuous Life

The life the a coporation, group is stated in the charter granted by the state, and most modern-day corporations elect a perpetual life. Because a corporation is a different legal entity, its continuance as a going concern is not impacted by the withdrawal, death, or incapacity the a stockholder, employee, or officer.

Ability to get Capital

It is reasonably easy for a corporation to achieve capital with the issuance that stock. Buying stock in a coporation, group is regularly attractive to an investor because a shareholder has minimal liability and also shares of share are easily transferable. Also, many individuals can end up being stockholders through investing reasonably small quantities of money.


Shares of capital stock offer ownership in a corporation. This shares room transferable units. Stockholders might dispose of component or every one of their interest in a corporation merely by selling their stock. In a partnership, the transfer of an property interest requires the consent of each owner. In contrast, the carry of stock is completely at the discretion the the stockholder. It does not call for the approval of either the corporation or other stockholders.

The transport of ownership rights among stockholders usually has no effect on the day-to-day operating activities of the corporation, no one does it affect the corporation’s assets, liabilities, and total ownership equity. The carry of these ownership civil liberties is a transaction between individual owners. The company does not take part in the carry of these ownership civil liberties after the initial sale of the funding stock.

Limited Liability

Since a copy, group is a different legal entity, creditors have actually recourse only to corporate legacy to meet their claims. In most circumstances, creditors have actually no legal insurance claim on the an individual assets that the owners. Also in the occasion of bankruptcy, stockholders’ losses room generally minimal to their funding investment in the corporation. In other words, if you buy stock and also the price the the share drops come zero, it is the level of your loss.

Government Regulations

A copy, group is subject to numerous state and federal regulations. For example, state legislations usually prescribe the requirements for issuing stock, the distributions of income permitted come stockholders, and also the acceptable approaches for buying back and retiring stock. Commonwealth securities legislations govern the sale of resources stock to the basic public. Also, most publicly held corporations are required to make comprehensive disclosure of their financial affairs come the Securities and also Exchange the supervisory board (SEC) with quarterly and also annual reports (Forms 10Q and also 10K). In addition, when a corporation perform its stock on organized securities exchanges, it need to comply with the reporting demands of these exchanges.


As a legitimate person, corporations pay federal and also state income taxes top top earnings. In addition, stockholders need to pay taxes on cash dividend (pro rata distributions of net income). In contrast, sole proprietors, partners, and members of an gmbh that has elected to be taxation as a cooperation report their share of revenue on their personal income taxation returns.

Corporate revenue is taxed at the that company level, and also then the remaining income after tax that are dispersed to owners room taxed again together dividends; therefore, corporate revenue are claimed to be subject to “double taxation.”

Governance and also Management

Stockholders execute not have the right to participate actively in the administration of the company unless they serve as directors and/or officers. However, stockholders do have actually certain simple rights, consisting of the right to (1) dispose of their shares, (2) buy added newly issued share in a proportion equal to the portion of shares they currently own (called the preemptive right), (3) re-superstructure in dividends when declared, (4) share in assets in case of liquidation, and also (5) get involved in administration indirectly by voting at the stockholders’ meeting. Stockholders gain one poll for every share of stock.

Management that the copy, group is v the delegation of government from the shareholder to the directors to the officers. The stockholders elect the board of directors. The plank of directors formulates the large policies that the agency and selects the principal policemans who execute the policies.

The board’s more specific duties include: (1) authorizing contracts, (2) proclaiming dividends, (3) developing executive salaries, and (4) giving authorization to borrow money. The decision of the plank are tape-recorded in the minutes of the meetings. The minute are vital source of information to an live independence auditor, since they may serve as an alert to document transactions (such together a dividend declaration) or to identify certain future transactions (such together a big loan).

Normally, companies organize stockholders’ meetings annually. At the annual stockholders’ meeting, stockholders vote on such concerns as transforming the charter, increasing the variety of authorized share of share to be issued, granting pension plans, picking the live independence auditor, and other connected matters. Stockholders who do not personally to visit the stockholders’ meeting may vote by proxy. A proxy is a legit document, signed by a stockholder, that provides a designated person the government to poll the stockholder’s share at a stockholders’ meeting.

A corporation’s bylaws typically specify the titles and also duties that the police officers of a corporation. The number of officers and their exact titles differ from corporation to corporation, but most have a chairman (who may also be the chief executive, management officer or CEO), number of vice presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and a controller. Beyond that, a typical corporation will have actually multiple evil presidents, such as the vice chairman of marketing, the vice president of finance or chef financial officer (CFO), the vice president of operations, and also the vice chairman of human being resources. The treasurer and also controller commonly report come the vice president of finance or chief financial officer, and also department heads report to their particular vice presidents, and so on, under to the line employees (like the human being you see on the floor of home Depot help customers and also stocking shelves.)

The president/chief executive officer (CEO) the the corporation is empowered by the bylaws to rental all necessary employees except those appointed by the board of directors.

The that company secretary maintains the main records that the company and documents the proceedings that meetings the stockholders and also directors. The treasurer is accountable for corporate funds and also may supervise the accounting role within the company. A controller carries out the accountancy function. The controller generally reports to the treasurer of the corporation.

The business structure of a corporation permits a firm to hire expert managers to run the business. On the other hand, the separation the ownership and management often reduces one owner’s capacity to actively manage the company. In addition, together became obvious in the Enron scandal, supervisors are often compensated based on the performance of the firm and may own stock as well. They thus may it is in tempted to exaggeration firm performance by inflating income figures.

As a an outcome of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the plank is now compelled to screen management’s actions much more closely. Numerous feel the fail of Enron, WorldCom, and much more recently MF worldwide could have actually been avoided by more diligent boards.


As you have actually learned, a copy, group is a legal entity separate and distinct from its owners, therefore the corporation action under its own name rather than in the surname of that stockholders. Residence Depot, Inc. Might buy, own, and also sell property. It might borrow money, and it may enter into legally binding contract in its very own name. The may additionally sue or it is in sued, and also it payment its own taxes, similar to a actual person.

See more: Downfall Of Castle And Country Erklärt, Downfall Of Castle And Country

In a partnership, the action of the owner (partners) tie the partnership. In contrast, the plot of its owners (stockholders) do not bind the corporation uneven such owners room agents the the corporation. For example, if you owned shares of home Depot, you would certainly not deserve to purchase inventory because that the firm unless you to be designated together an agent of the corporation.