A natural person is one who is born in a land and enjoys the civil rights of the society where he or she is living. Before the industrial revolution, man depended on farms and crafts for a living. The advent of the industrial revolution and the discovery of new lands opened up opportunities for new ways of living. One struggled hard, ventured to form new businesses, employed people and succeeded in the business. Very often, these businesses failed, and the profits or debts were borne by the individual. Furthermore, society had to find to way to regulate these businesses.
These businesses were registered as separate legal entities and enjoyed certain rights as bestowed by the society. They were registered as partnership, proprietorship and corporations. Proprietorship and partnership were limited by the number of people and unlimited liability. Corporations held a greater number of people and limited liability.
The word ‘corporation’ is derived from the Latin root ‘corpus’ meaning group of bodies. The businesses founded became a legal entity separate from the founders. There are corporations, limited liability companies (LLC) and non-profit organizations like churches. Even though corporations are founded by a group, it is the corporation that does transactions with the government, other corporations and individuals. The founders have liabilities only to the extent of their investments.
The main benefits to the corporation are limited liability and perpetual lifetime. The corporation lives or continues as a legal entity even after the founders are gone, giving it stability. Furthermore, the corporation enjoys benefits in the form of tax deductions and concessions. Corporations are entrepreneurial in nature. According to an estimate, there were 22.5 million corporations in the United States in 2002. Ninety-nine percent of these corporations are small in nature employing fewer than 500 people.