ContractsCounsel Logo

What is corporation law?

Updated: March 28, 2023
Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 9,763 reviews
No Upfront Payment Required, Pay Only If You Hire.
Home Blog What is corporation law?

Jump to Section

Corporation law (also known as business law, enterprise law, or company law) is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and businesses. Corporate law often describes the law relating to matters which derive directly from the life cycle of a corporation. It thus encompasses the formation, funding, governance, and death of a corporation.

What Is Corporate Law?

Corporate law refers to the legal practice of law relating to corporations, or the theory of corporations. This is related to commercial and contract law . Corporate law makes up the rules, practices, regulations, and laws that control the creation and operation of any corporation. This body of law governs legal entities that conduct business.

Corporations are formed under state law and the owners of the corporation are referred to as shareholders. Corporate Law is applicable to an S Corporation , a C Corporation , and a B Corporation .

Corporate law encompasses all the legal issues that a corporation can face. Corporations are subject to numerous regulations they must follow in order to enjoy the tax and other benefits corporations receive. Corporate law has five principles that are common to it. Following are the five principles.

1. Legal Personality

Owners of the corporation put their resources into a different entity. The entity can then utilize their assets and sell them if they wish. Creditors can’t take assets back easily but can form a separate entity that acts on its own accord.

One of the benefits of a corporation is limited liability. Limited liability is when a corporation is sued but only the assets of the corporation are at risk. The plaintiff may not go after any individual assets from the owners of the corporation.

2. Limited Liability

One of the benefits of a corporation is limited liability. Limited liability is when a corporation is sued but only the assets of the corporation are at risk. The plaintiff may not go after any individual assets from the owners of the corporation.

3. Owners May Transfer Shares

If an owner ends up deciding they no longer want to own part of the corporation, it doesn’t mean the business needs to close. A unique part of a corporation is that the owners may transfer shares without the hassles and difficulties that are often related to ownership transferring in a partnership.

4. Delegated Management

There is a defined structure in corporations regarding how they handle their affairs. The officers and board of directors share the responsibilities of making decisions. Board members are in charge of hiring and monitoring officers as well as confirming any big decisions they make.

Shareholders are in charge of electing the board, while officers are in charge of the daily operations of the company. Officers handle transactions and ensure the business runs each day. Having a defined leadership structure, parties that conduct business with the corporation know that any actions of the board of directors and officers are considered legally binding for the corporation.

5. Owners Have a Say When It Comes to Making Decisions for a Corporation

Owners are able to have a say when it comes to making decisions for a corporation, but they are not in charge of running the company directly. Oftentimes, the owner has the authority to make decisions and a part in profit sharing related to their ownership interest.

Key Terms to Know in Corporate Law

If you are not familiar with any other terms, following are some key terms that you should know in corporate law.

  • Corporation . A corporation is a legal entity formed to conduct business; can be either a private corporation, where only a few people own the corporation and its stock is not publicly traded, or a public corporation, whose stock is traded on the stock exchange.
  • S Corporation . An S corporation is a special type of corporation with a limited number of shareholders that enjoys certain tax benefits but without the stock options of a typical corporation.
  • C Corporation . A C corporation (or C-Corp) is a legal structure for a corporation in which the owners, or shareholders, are taxed separately from the entity. C corporations, the most prevalent of corporations, are also subject to corporate income taxation. The taxing of profits from the business is at both corporate and personal levels, creating a double taxation situation.
  • B Corporation . Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. B corps form a community of leaders and drive a global movement of people using business as a force for good.
  • Incorporation . Incorporation is the legal process used to form a corporate entity or company.
  • Delaware Corporate Law . The Delaware General Corporation Law (Title 8, Chapter 1 of the Delaware Code) is the statute governing corporate law in the U.S. state of Delaware. Adopted in 1899, the statute has since made Delaware the most important jurisdiction in United States corporate law.
  • Certificate of Incorporation . A certificate of incorporation is issued by a state’s secretary of state that shows acceptance of a corporation’s articles of incorporation.
  • Articles of Incorporation . Articles of incorporation are a set of formal documents filed with a government body to legally document the creation of a corporation. Articles of incorporation are also referred to as the “corporate charter”, “articles of association”, or “certificate of incorporation”.
  • Corporate Bylaws . Corporate Bylaws are a set of written rules used by a corporation to organize its internal management. Company bylaws also outline the policies and responsibilities for the shareholders, directors, and officers of a corporation.
  • Registered Agent . A registered agent is a person or entity appointed to accept service of process and official mail on your business’ behalf.
  • Investors . An investor is any person or other entity (such as a firm or mutual fund) who commits capital with the expectation of receiving financial returns. Investors can analyze opportunities from different angles, and generally prefer to minimize risk while maximizing returns.
  • Directors . A group of individuals elected by the shareholders of a corporation to manage the corporation’s affairs and appoint officers.
  • Employees . Employees are individuals who are employed for wages or salary, generally at a nonexecutive level.
  • Creditors . People or businesses that you owe money to relating to business incurred debt.

For other terms and general information relating to corporate law, here is an article .

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Paul M.

4 projects on CC
View Profile

Karen S.

32 projects on CC
View Profile

Taren C.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Daehoon P.

185 projects on CC
View Profile

Types of Corporate Law

Following are types of corporate law.

  • Contracts
  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A)
  • Corporate Governance
  • Venture Capital
  • Securities

Role of Corporation Law

Corporate law regulates the rights and obligations involved with the business activities of a corporation, including formation, ownership, operation, and management. Corporate law handles big picture concerns, such as buying decisions, mergers and acquisitions, and shareholders’ rights.

Although they can be made up of large groups of people (investors, owners, employees), corporations are treated as a single entity, meaning the laws deal with the business directly rather than the people within it. Essentially, the corporation is treated as a person.

To read more about the role of corporation law, click here .

Who Knows Corporation Law?

A Corporate Lawyer would know about corporation law. The role of a corporate lawyer is to advise clients of their rights, responsibilities, and duties under the law. When a corporate lawyer is hired by a corporation, the lawyer represents the corporate entity, not its shareholders or employees. This may be a confusing concept to grasp until you learn that a corporation is actually treated like a person under the law.

Post a project in ContractsCounsel’s marketplace to get free bids from lawyers to help with corporate law. All lawyers are vetted by our team and peer reviewed by our customers for you to explore before hiring.

How ContractsCounsel Works
Hiring a lawyer on ContractsCounsel is easy, transparent and affordable.
1. Post a Free Project
Complete our 4-step process to provide info on what you need done.
2. Get Bids to Review
Receive flat-fee bids from lawyers in our marketplace to compare.
3. Start Your Project
Securely pay to start working with the lawyer you select.

Meet some of our Lawyers

Joon H. on ContractsCounsel
View Joon
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
June 28, 2023

Joon H.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Washington State
3 Yrs Experience
Licensed in WA
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

I work with private tech companies on entity formation, corporate governance, and commercial agreements. I was an in-house counsel for a unicorn fintech startup and am currently associated with a startup boutique while operating my solo practice. I received my JD from Berkeley Law, and served in the US Navy for 5 years as a combat linguist. I am fluent in Korean.

Daniel D. on ContractsCounsel
View Daniel
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
June 29, 2023

Daniel D.

Owner / Attorney
Free Consultation
Naples, Florida
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
Ave Maria School of Law

I was born and raised in Wayne, New Jersey and attended Seton Hall University, graduating cum laude. I followed my family down to Florida to attend Ave Maria School of Law where I graduated cum laude. I was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2018. During law school, I participated in the Certified Legal Internship program with the State Attorney's Office of the 20th Judicial Circuit and litigated 5 jury trials, 1 non jury trial and argued various motions before the court under the supervision of an Assistant State Attorney. I was an Assistant States Attorney for Collier County from 2018 to 2020 before moving into private practice in the areas of real estate and first party property from 2020 to 2021. As of November 2021, I started my own law practice that focuses on business planning, real estate and estate planning.

Vicki P. on ContractsCounsel
View Vicki
5.0 (3)
Member Since:
June 30, 2023

Vicki P.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Danville, Pennsylvania
25 Yrs Experience
Licensed in PA, WI
Regent University School of Law

Vicki graduated from Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, Virginia in 1996. She is a licensed attorney. She has been admitted to Wisconsin since 1998 and Pennsylvania since 1999.

John V. on ContractsCounsel
View John
Member Since:
June 29, 2023

John V.

Attorney / Owner
Free Consultation
Boulder, CO
26 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
Syracuse University School of Law

Business, Real Estate, Tax, Estate Planning and Probate attorney with over 20 years experience in private practice in Colorado. Currently owner/operator of John M. Vaughan, Attorney at Law solo practitioner located in Boulder, CO. My practice focuses on transactional matters only.

Mark M. on ContractsCounsel
View Mark
Member Since:
June 30, 2023

Mark M.

Senior Attorney
Free Consultation
Reston VA
36 Yrs Experience
Licensed in DC
Georgetown University Law Center

I have 20-plus years of experience as a corporate general counsel, for public and private corporations, domestic and international. I have acted as corporate secretary for a publicly-held corporation and have substantial experience in corporate finance, M&A, corporate governance, incorporations, corporate maintenance, complex transactions, corporate termination and restructuring, as well as numerous aspects of regulatory and financial due diligence. In my various corporate roles, I have routinely drafted complex corporate contracts and deal-related documents such as stock purchase agreements, option and warrant agreements, MSAs, SOWs, term sheets, joint venture agreements, tender agreements purchase and sale agreements, technology licensing agreements, vendor agreements, service agreements, IP and technology security agreements, NDAs, etc. and have managed from both a legal and business perspective many projects in the financial, technology, energy and venture capital fields.

Daniel K. on ContractsCounsel
View Daniel
Member Since:
August 9, 2023

Daniel K.

Founder and Managing Partner
Free Consultation
Chicago
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IL, NJ, PA
Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law.

My practice focuses on business and commercial litigation. I have worked with companies of all sizes from sole member LLCs to those in the Fortune 500. I've advised clients on mergers, equity issuances, commercial transactions, joint ventures, employment issues, and non-competition. I've also drafted and negotiated the underlying agreements for these transactions and more.

Thomas B. on ContractsCounsel
View Thomas
Member Since:
July 2, 2023

Thomas B.

Attorney
Free Consultation
Indianapolis
34 Yrs Experience
Licensed in IN
Indiana University

Accomplished Attorney with 33 years of experience assisting clients with their legal needs, including reviewing and drafting of various contracts and agreements.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Need help with a Contract Agreement?

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

CONTRACT LAWYERS BY TOP CITIES
See All Corporate Lawyers
CORPORATION LAW LAWYERS BY CITY
See All What is corporation law? Lawyers
Learn About Contracts
See More Contracts
other helpful articles

Quick, user friendly and one of the better ways I've come across to get ahold of lawyers willing to take new clients.

View Trustpilot Review

Contracts Counsel was incredibly helpful and easy to use. I submitted a project for a lawyer's help within a day I had received over 6 proposals from qualified lawyers. I submitted a bid that works best for my business and we went forward with the project.

View Trustpilot Review

I never knew how difficult it was to obtain representation or a lawyer, and ContractsCounsel was EXACTLY the type of service I was hoping for when I was in a pinch. Working with their service was efficient, effective and made me feel in control. Thank you so much and should I ever need attorney services down the road, I'll certainly be a repeat customer.

View Trustpilot Review

I got 5 bids within 24h of posting my project. I choose the person who provided the most detailed and relevant intro letter, highlighting their experience relevant to my project. I am very satisfied with the outcome and quality of the two agreements that were produced, they actually far exceed my expectations.

View Trustpilot Review

How It Works

Post Your Project

Get Free Bids to Compare

Hire Your Lawyer

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city