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A legal entity is a legal construct through which the law allows a group of natural persons to act as if they were a single person for certain purposes. The most common purposes are lawsuits, property ownership, and contracts.
Some examples of legal entities include:
- cooperatives (co-ops)
- natural persons
- political parties
- temples, in some legal systems, have separate legal personality
- trade unions
- ship or vessel
There are limitations to the legal recognition of artificial persons. Legal entities cannot marry, they cannot vote or hold public office, and in most jurisdictions there are certain positions which they cannot occupy. The extent to which a legal entity can commit a crime varies from country to country. Certain countries prohibit a legal entity from holding human rights; other countries permit artificial persons to enjoy certain protections from the state that are traditionally described as human rights.
examples of legal entities are - sole traders -partnerships - trusts - private and public company
Recently, in India, a company despite being artificial person has got court stay, from High Court Jaipur Bench against an employee seeking justice in labour court.
- Williams v The Shipping Corporation of India (US District Court, Eastern District Virginia), 10 March 1980, 63 ILR 363
- These restrictions vary from country to country. Some countries do not permit a corporate entity to be a director or a liquidator while others do.
- Most commonly in the area of taxation and in relation to search warrants.