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Practice Definitions - Corporate Law
Corporate Law
Corporate Law is the area of law focusing on the legal methods of obtaining an official charter or articles of incorporation from the state for an organization, which may be a profit-making business, a professional business such as a law office or medical office or a non-profit entity which operates for charitable, social, religious, civic or other public service purposes and the legal ramifications of such an organization-business formation law. Corporations are governed by state corporation laws. Other laws that govern business operations include consumer protection law, contract laws, labor and employment law, anti-trust and trade regulation laws, securities, and others that deal with the day-to-day operations of a corporation.

How are corporations different from other business entities?

Unlike other business entities, corporations are treated separate from their stockholders because legally speaking, the corporation is a separate legal entitity from its stockholders. This is why corporations can sue and be sued without any personal liability on the stockholders' part. Corporations are also taxed separately from their stockholders, creating a double-taxation situation-the corporation paying taxes, and the individual stockholders also paying taxes. But corporations are typically taxed at a lower rate than their stockholders. Transferring stocks and shares of stock is fairly easy in a corporation and if a shareholder dies, the corporation doesn't.
Should I hire a lawyer?
If you are facing litigation, it's obvious you need to retain a lawyer right away. Even if you aren't faced with litigation, a corporation law attorney can provide valuable advice and assistance you in drafting business plans, fundamental business formation (including joint ventures, limited partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations) and structuring financing provisions. The most successful companies not only start out with quality financial guidance, but also start with proper legal counsel from a qualified corporate law attorney. Use the State Lawyers Directory to find a qualified corporate law attorney to best suit your needs and legal situation.

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