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by Mara Hernandez-Capili

A corporation is basically a group of people with shares or stocks from a company that make them part-owners of that company. A company may either be a privately held corporation or a publicly held corporation. A privately held corporation is one where the shareholders know each other. They are usually related to each other, some corporations have the whole family as the shareholders. An example of a privately listed company is Cargill Corporation. A publicly listed company is one where shares are sold to anyone who can afford it and who pass up on some tests/ requirements the company has in addition. Shareholders of publicly listed companies do not virtually know each other.

One advantage of a corporation is that the owners have limited liability. For example, when a company that is a corporation lost in court, the corporation is the one answerable or pays the settlements. The worst thing that can happen is for the company the close down. If the company is a sole proprietorship it is the owner who is answerable to any damages and thus he may lose everything he has or even go to jail in the process. Corporations limit the risk and protect its shareholders.

A corporation gathers a lot of shares from individuals that make it possible for them to invest in sophisticated equipments and manpower in order to create a smooth flowing business operation. With this, it would then be easy for people to invest in the company because of its attractive business packages.

Corporations are also deemed to exist eternally as long as there are shareholders that possess their stocks. This lies in the value that the company is strong and stable. Future shareholders would then be attracted to invest in the company since it stable, thus eliminating risks. A corporation has a good operations systems and working environment because of the huge capital invested on equipments and manpower which makes it attractive for future investors.

There are many privately-held companies nowadays who switch to making their company publicly-owned for the reasons of: expansion and improvement or sophistication of business models.

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