Basically, a corporation is a legal entity. It is created under the laws of the state it’s incorporated within. The laws of each state vary, some more favorable than others. Federal law – under the Securities Act of 1933 – regulates how corporate securities (stocks, bonds, etc.) are issued and sold.
A corporation creates an “artificial person” or entity that can sue or be sued, enter into contracts, and perform other duties necessary to maintain a business. The major advantage of a corporation is that the entity shields the individual owners or shareholders from personal liability for the liabilities and debts of the corporation, with some limited exceptions (such as unpaid taxes). The legal “person” status of a corporation also gives it an indefinite life; the termination or death of certain individuals does not alter the corporate structure.
Persons trained in corporate law are responsible for bringing corporations into being. Corporate lawyers structure the stock and bond offerings and the bank and insurance loans that provide enterprises with capital. They bring about the joint ventures, licensing arrangements, mergers, acquisitions, and the myriad of other transactions entered into by the corporation.
Areas include business formations, securities law, venture capital financing, business agreements, internal forms, and business tax consultation.