Corporations are businesses that have been incorporated - they receive the same status as a person in a court of law. The advantage of incorporating, from an investors point of view is that investors in a corporation are granted limited liability under most legal systems. In turn, most argue that a corporation has a responsibility to the public, in regard to how it conducts its affairs. It is the responsibility of government to identify what those responsibilities are and how they are to be met.
[+] The legal framework for corporations.
governance multinational corporation, corporatism, globalization
Certain jurisdictions do not allow the use of the word "company" alone to denote corporate status, since the word "company" may refer to a partnership or to a sole proprietorship, or even, archaically, to a group of not necessarily related people (for example, those staying in a tavern).