What’s the difference between a corporation and any other company?


What’s the difference between a corporation and any other company?

In: 10

I’m not trained in economics, but a friend of mine with a degree in the subject is very firm that the East India Company shouldn’t be described as a corporation in any real way akin to modern corporations – that the definition has evolved significantly since 1600 and the modern definition of the term wouldn’t include it anymore. I’ve found a number of modern sources describing EIC as a corporation, and I’m unsure what “modern definition” they’re referring to or why it wouldn’t qualify.

Is there anything to this argument? Would you feel comfortable referring to East India Company as a corporation?

In modern parlance, the term company and corporation are pretty interchangeable. Corporation is probably the more “correct” term in the sense of it being a legally separable entity from its owners and having certain rights pertaining to persons.

The EIC is certainly not something that could exist in the modern sense. The EIC was more like the colonialization arm of the British government – allowed to conduct foreign armed endeavors, govern colonial territories, hold trade monopolies, de facto foreign policy; things that would never be allowed today. In that sense your friend is correct.

A corporation is a separate legal entity. That means for the most part, u can sue the business but not the owners. It also has to do with how corporations pay shareholders. Corporations release shares of stock which represe t ownership of a company and entitle the bearer to profits (sometimes) in the form of dividends.