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Corporation vs. Enterprise: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A corporation is a legal entity owned by shareholders, while an enterprise can be any business or organized economic activity.
Corporation vs. Enterprise

Key Differences

A corporation is a specific legal structure for a business, characterized by its legal distinction from its owners, while an enterprise refers to any business or company, regardless of its legal structure. Corporations offer limited liability; enterprises encompass all business forms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Corporations are often larger and more complex, subject to specific regulatory and tax structures, whereas enterprises can range from small businesses to large entities, not limited by legal structure. Corporations have a formal organizational structure; enterprises vary in size and complexity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
In a corporation, ownership is defined by shares, which can be bought and sold, while an enterprise may be owned and operated in various forms, including sole proprietorships and partnerships. Corporations involve shareholder ownership; enterprises have diverse ownership models.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Corporations are created through a legal process and have specific reporting and operating requirements, whereas enterprises refer broadly to any organized economic endeavor, including non-incorporated businesses. Corporations have defined legal obligations; enterprises are a broader concept.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
Finally, corporations often have a board of directors and officers, with a clear governance structure, while enterprises can be managed in various ways, from individual entrepreneurs to large teams. Corporations have formal governance; enterprises have flexible management structures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A legal entity owned by shareholders
Any business or organized economic activity
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Dec 01, 2023

Legal Structure

Specific (limited liability, board of directors)
Varies (can include sole proprietorships, partnerships)
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Dec 01, 2023

Ownership

Shareholder-based
Can be individually or jointly owned
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Size and Complexity

Often larger and more regulated
Ranges from small to large, less regulated
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Dec 01, 2023

Management

Formal structure (Board, CEOs)
Flexible, can be individual or team managed
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Corporation and Enterprise Definitions

Corporation

A company recognized by law as a single body.
The corporation was sued, not its owners.
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Dec 01, 2023

Enterprise

A project or undertaking, typically one that's difficult or requires effort.
The construction project was a major enterprise.
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Dec 01, 2023

Corporation

A legal entity separate from its owners.
The corporation issued stocks to raise capital.
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Dec 01, 2023

Enterprise

A business or company.
His enterprise grew from a small startup.
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Dec 01, 2023

Corporation

A business owned by shareholders.
She owns shares in a multinational corporation.
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Enterprise

An economic organization or activity.
The new enterprise focuses on renewable energy.
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Dec 01, 2023

Corporation

An organization with a distinct legal identity.
The corporation expanded its operations globally.
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Dec 01, 2023

Enterprise

A readiness to engage in daring or difficult action.
Her spirit of enterprise led to the company's success.
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Dec 01, 2023

Corporation

A business entity that can own property, sue, or be sued.
The corporation acquired several smaller companies.
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Dec 01, 2023

Enterprise

An undertaking, especially one of some scope, complication, and risk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

An entity such as a business, municipality, or organization, that involves more than one person but that has met the legal requirements to operate as a single person, so that it may enter into contracts and engage in transactions under its own identity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

A business organization.
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

Such a body created for purposes of government. Also called body corporate.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

Industrious, systematic activity, especially when directed toward profit
Private enterprise is basic to capitalism.
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

A group of people combined into or acting as one body.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

Willingness to undertake new ventures; initiative
"Through want of enterprise and faith men are where they are, buying and selling, and spending their lives like serfs" (Henry David Thoreau).
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

(Informal) A protruding abdominal region; a potbelly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

A company, business, organization, or other purposeful endeavor.
The government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) are a group of financial services corporations which have been created by the United States Congress.
A micro-enterprise is defined as a company or business having 5 or fewer employees and a low seed capital.
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

A body corporate, created by law or under authority of law, having a continuous existence independent of the existences of its members, and powers and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

An undertaking, venture, or project, especially a daring and courageous one.
Biosphere 2 was a scientific enterprise aimed at the exploration of the complex web of interactions within life systems.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

The municipal governing body of a borough or city.
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

(uncountable) A willingness to undertake new or risky projects; energy and initiative.
He has shown great enterprise throughout his early career.
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

(historical) In Fascist Italy, a joint association of employers' and workers' representatives.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

(uncountable) Active participation in projects. en
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Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

A protruding belly (perhaps a play on the word corpulence).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

(intransitive) To undertake an enterprise, or something hazardous or difficult.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

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.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

(transitive) To undertake; to begin and attempt to perform; to venture upon.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

A business firm whose articles of incorporation have been approved in some state
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

(transitive) To treat with hospitality; to entertain.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Corporation

Slang terms for a paunch
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

That which is undertaken; something attempted to be performed; a work projected which involves activity, courage, energy, and the like; a bold, arduous, or hazardous attempt; an undertaking; as, a manly enterprise; a warlike enterprise.
Their hands can not perform their enterprise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

Willingness or eagerness to engage in labor which requires boldness, promptness, energy, and like qualities; as, a man of great enterprise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

To undertake; to begin and attempt to perform; to venture upon.
The business must be enterprised this night.
What would I not renounce or enterprise for you!
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

To treat with hospitality; to entertain.
Him at the threshold met, and well did enterprise.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

To undertake an enterprise, or something hazardous or difficult.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

A purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness);
He had doubts about the whole enterprise
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

An organization created for business ventures;
A growing enterprise must have a bold leader
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

Readiness to embark on bold new ventures
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Oct 19, 2023

Enterprise

An undertaking or business venture.
They launched a joint enterprise in the tech sector.
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Dec 01, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can a small business be a corporation?

Yes, if it's legally registered as such.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

What is an enterprise?

Any business or organized economic activity.
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Dec 01, 2023

Who manages a corporation?

Typically, a board of directors and executives.
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Can anyone start an enterprise?

Yes, individuals or groups can start enterprises.
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Dec 01, 2023

Do shareholders own enterprises?

Enterprises can be owned by individuals or partners, not just shareholders.
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What risks do enterprise owners face?

Depends on the structure, but can include personal liability.
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Dec 01, 2023

Does an enterprise need to be incorporated?

No, enterprises can exist in various legal forms.
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Dec 01, 2023

What defines a corporation?

A legal entity owned by shareholders, separate from its owners.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are corporations taxed differently?

Yes, they often have specific corporate tax obligations.
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Is a corporation a permanent entity?

Legally, yes, until dissolved.
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Dec 01, 2023

How is an enterprise managed?

Management varies, from individual entrepreneurs to teams.
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What’s the risk to corporation owners?

Shareholders' risk is usually limited to their investment.
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Dec 01, 2023

How flexible is the structure of an enterprise?

Enterprises offer a wide range of structural flexibility.
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Dec 01, 2023

Do all enterprises have employees?

Not necessarily; some may be operated by a single individual.
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Dec 01, 2023

Are corporations always for-profit?

No, there are also non-profit corporations.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can an enterprise be a family business?

Yes, many enterprises are family-owned and operated.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can a corporation be part of an enterprise?

Yes, as an enterprise can encompass various business types.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Can enterprises operate internationally?

Yes, depending on their business model.
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Dec 01, 2023

Can corporations issue stocks?

Yes, corporations can issue stocks to raise capital.
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Dec 01, 2023

What legal responsibilities do corporations have?

They must adhere to specific legal and regulatory requirements.
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Dec 01, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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