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What is Corporate Law?

A corporation is a business which is a separate legal entity created through the laws of its state of incorporation. Each individual state has the power to make their own laws on how to create, organize and dissolve a corporation.

Corporate law is also called "company" or "corporations" law. It is the study that defines how the owners or shareholders, directors, employees, creditors, and other stakeholders interact with each another. Corporate law is a part of a broader companies law or law of business associations. Different types of business associations can include partnerships, trusts, or companies limited by guarantee. Under corporate law, corporations of all sizes have separate legal identity, with limited or unlimited liability for its shareholders. Corporate law deals with firms that are incorporated or registered under the corporate or company law of a sovereign state or their subnational states.

The characteristics of a corporation are:

  • Separate legal personality of the corporation (access to tort and contract law in a manner similar to a person)
  • Limited liability of the shareholders (a shareholder's personal liability is limited to the value of their shares in the corporation)
  • Shares (if the corporation is a public company, the shares are traded on a stock exchange)
  • Delegated management; the board of directors delegates day-to-day management of the company to executives

What do corporate lawyers do?

Corporate lawyers provide legal guidance for employers and clients. Lawyers usually begin a new case by meeting with clients and trying to understand the details of the legal issue. Some work in courtrooms and represent their clients in front of a judge and jury. Most corporate lawyers typically work for large companies. There are other however, who are self-employed and contract themselves out to many different firms.

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