Inc. vs Corp.
Inc (an abbreviation for Incorporation) and Corp (an abbreviation for Corporation) are acronyms used at the time of forming a new business entity. Inc. and Corp. are separate institutions, which have been granted a charter recognizing them as a separate legal entities. Both are within the limited liability concept (i.e. share holders, directors or employees are not personally liable for the debts owed to creditors by the institution).
Though, both convey the same basic fact about the company organization, and no difference exist between the two in terms of their legal structure, tax structure and compliance obligations, these two terms can’t be used interchangeably. Once the entity decides to go with either Inc or Corp, it has to stick with it’s selection. If an entity registers with ‘Inc’, all its letter heads, correspondence, domain names, business cards and all company related documents including sales collateral shall use ‘Inc’, not ‘Corp’ and vise versa, if registered as Corp. If a business registered under Inc. wishes to use Corp., it needs to file the formal name change before it could use the abbreviation ‘Corp’.
Incorporation is the process, which legally declares a corporate entity as separate from its owners. This is the forming of a new legal entity, which can either be a business, non profit organization or sports club, which is recognized as a person under the law. Some of the legal benefits of Inc. are;
• Protection of owner’s assets against the company’s liabilities
• Transferable ownership to another party
• Capital can be raised through sale of stock
• Obtaining its own credit rating
The legal concept of Incorporation is recognized all over the world, but it has state-specific registration information and fees. ‘Articles of Incorporation’ is drafted, which lists down the main purpose of the business, location, number of shares and class of stock being issued if any.
Derived from the Latin word ‘Corpus’, corporation is a legal entity created under the laws of a state designed to establish the entity as a separate legal entity having its own privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members. Though, corporations are not natural persons, they are recognized by the law to have the rights and responsibilities that of a natural person.
4 core characterics exists of corporations;
• Legal personality
• Limited liability
• Transferable shares
• Centralized management under a board structure
Historically, corporations were created by a charter (the grant of authority or rights) granted by the government. Today, corporations are usually registered with the state, province or national government, and are being regulated by the laws of that government.
Corporations, generally have a distinct name. Historically, some corporations were named after their membership. E.g. formally known as ‘The President and Fellows of Harvard College’ now known as ‘Harvard College’ (is the oldest corporation in the western hemisphere).
Inc. vs Corp.
Though, no distinct difference exists between the two, it can’t be used interchangeably. Both enable companies with Limited liability, and both are separate institutions with whom the business entity needs to get registered, in order to use Incorporation or Corporation as part of the company name.
If You wish to start a new business entity ‘ABC’, what is the difference from having this company known as ‘ABC Inc.’ to that of ‘ABC Corp.’?
Both these would identify the company as having limited liability which is the main purpose during the registration process. Slight difference exists in the incorporation process between countries. E.g. some allow ‘ABC Inc.’ where another would request it to be named as ‘ABC Incorporated’ while registering.
No real difference exists between Inc and Corp, but it is important to choose one designation, and use it consistently in all business dealings.
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