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Formation

Historically, corporations were created by a charter granted by government. Today, corporations are usually registered with the state, province, or national government and regulated by the laws enacted by that government. Registration is the main prerequisite to the corporation's assumption of limited liability. The law sometimes requires the corporation to designate its principal address, as well as a registered agent (a person or company designated to receive legal service of process). It may also be required to designate an agent or other legal representative of the corporation.[citation needed] Generally, a corporation files articles of incorporation with the government, laying out the general nature of the corporation, the amount of stock it is authorized to issue, and the names and addresses of directors. Once the articles are approved, the corporation's directors meet to create bylaws that govern the internal functions of the corporation, such as meeting procedures and officer positions.[citation needed] The law of the jurisdiction in which a corporation operates will regulate most of its internal activities, as well as its finances. If a corporation operates outside its home state, it is often required to register with other governments as a foreign corporation, and is almost always subject to laws of its host state pertaining to employment, crimes, contracts, civil actions, and the like.[citation needed]

A charter is the grant of authority or rights, stating that the granter formally recognizes the prerogative of the recipient to exercise the rights specified. It is implicit that the granter retains superiority (or sovereignty), and that the recipient admits a limited (or inferior) status within the relationship, and it is within that sense that charters were historically granted, and that sense is retained in modern usage of the term. Also, charter can simply be a document giving royal permission to start a colony. The word entered the English language from the Old French charte (ultimately from the Latin word for "paper"), but the concept is universal and transcends language. It has come to be synonymous with the document that lays out the granting of rights or privileges. The term is used for a special case (or as an exception) to an institutional charter. A charter school, for example, is one that has different rules, regulations, and statutes from a state school. Charter is sometimes used as a synonym for 'tool' or 'lease', as in the 'charter' of a bus or boat by an organization, intended for a similar group destination. A charter member of an organization is an original member; that is, one who became a member when the organization received its charter. Anglo-Saxon Charters are documents from the early medieval period in Britain which typically make a grant of land or record a privilege. They are usually written on parchment, in Latin but often with sections in the vernacular, describing the bounds of estates, which often correspond closely to modern parish boundaries. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s; the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the 8th century surviving charters were increasingly used to grant land to lay people. The British Empire used three main types of colonies as it sought to expand its territory to distant parts of the earth. These three types were royal colonies, proprietary colonies, and corporate colonies. A charter colony by definition is a "colony…chartered to an individual, trading company, etc., by the British crown."[1] Although charter colonies were not the most prevalent of the three types of colonies in the British Empire, they were by no means insignificant.

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