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Cor`po*ra"tion (k&ô;r`p&ouptack_;*r&ā;"shŭn), n. [L. corporatio incarnation: cf. F. corporation corporation.] A body politic or corporate, formed and authorized by law to act as a single person, and endowed by law with the capacity of succession; a society having the capacity of transacting business as an individual.
&hand_; Corporations are aggregate or sole. Corporations aggregate consist of two or more persons united in a society, which is preserved by a succession of members, either forever or till the corporation is dissolved by the power that formed it, by the death of all its members, by surrender of its charter or franchises, or by forfeiture. Such corporations are the mayor and aldermen of cities, the head and fellows of a college, the dean and chapter of a cathedral church, the stockholders of a bank or insurance company, etc. A corporation sole consists of a single person, who is made a body corporate and politic, in order to give him some legal capacities, and especially that of succession, which as a natural person he can not have. Kings, bishops, deans, parsons, and vicars, are in England sole corporations. A fee will not pass to a corporation sole without the word “successors” in the grant. There are instances in the United States of a minister of a parish seized of parsonage lands in the right of his parish, being a corporation sole, as in Massachusetts. Corporations are sometimes classified as public and private; public being convertible with municipal, and private corporations being all corporations not municipal.
Close corporation. See under Close.