The Different Types of Corporations

Form a Delaware Corporation Now

Before you incorporate your business, you'll need to decide which type of corporation is right for your company. Delaware offers several types of corporations: general, close and non-profit. Whether you have a large company, small family business or a not-for-profit organization, there are options for everyone when it comes to choosing which type of corporation is best for your business.

General Corporation

The Delaware general corporation is typically the most popular type of corporation. Business owners are attracted to its ability to go public and raise capital by selling shares of stock in the company. This type of corporation is also often used by companies that wish to attract venture capital funding. The general corporation has a formal structure: shareholders own the company via shares of stock, Directors run the company and are responsible for its overall management, and officers handle the company's day-to-day business. Please see our general corporation page for more information.

Close Corporation

The close corporation was designed for a tight-knit group, as it cannot have more than 30 shareholders. The transfer of stock is more restricted than it is for a general corporation—existing shareholders typically have the right of first refusal to buy stock before a stockholder can sell it to an outsider. Please see our close corporation page for more information.

Public Benefit Corporation

A Public Benefit Corporation makes it legal for corporations to act morally, ethically and responsibly in regard to society, the environment, the natural world and the world at large. A Delaware Public Benefit Corporation can be formed in the same manner as a Delaware Corporation, by filing a Certificate of Incorporation with the Delaware Division of Corporations. However, unlike a Delaware General Corporation or Delaware Close Corporation, the Certificate of Incorporation for a Delaware Public Benefit Corporation must be clearly marked to demonstrate that the entity is a Public Benefit Corporation.

Non-Profit Corporation

Non-profit companies are run by a Board of Directors, and they do not have shareholders. Some but not all non-profit corporations have members. Members don't own the company but they may be given the right to vote for the Board of Directors. If there are no members, then the Board itself votes on admitting Board members, perpetually. Tax exempt corporations must first form as a non-stock corporation and then apply to the IRS for non-profit status. Once granted, the corporation pays no U.S. federal income taxes, but it is required to file an informational return, listing the names and addresses of Board members and some financial information. Please see our non-profit corporation page for more information.

Are you ready to incorporate? Please visit our corporation order page or click the button below. If you have questions about the process of incorporating, our expert staff is available to help by phone at 800-345-2677, email or live chat.

Form a Delaware Corporation Now
Related Articles From Our Blog

The HBS Blog offers insight on Delaware corporations and LLCs as well as information about entrepreneurship, startups and general business topics.

What to Know When Naming a Benefit Corporation The most recent member of the family of Delaware corporate entities is the Delaware Public Benefit Corporation, also known as...Continue
Structure of a General Corporation The Delaware general corporation has had the strongest type of company...Continue
Non-Profit vs Benefit Corporation [Infographic] There are significant differences between a non-profit corporation and a benefit corporation, no matter where the company operates...Continue
Is an LLC a Corporation? What's the Difference? Why is Google a corporation and YouTube an LLC? Both, of course, chose Delaware as their corporate home...Continue
Anatomy of an S Corporation [Infographic] See the key elements of S Corporation is our infographic...Continue
Non-Profit Corporation vs Public Benefit Corporation The chief difference between a non-profit corporation and a benefit corporation - sometimes called a B Corporation - is the ownership factor. There are...Continue
What Is a Non-Stock Corporation? These days, the term "non-stock corporation" has essentially become synonymous with the term "non-profit corporation." But what is a non-stock corporation?...Continue
Advantages of a Delaware Close Corporation The "Close" in Close Corporation should be thought of as an abbreviation for "Closely Held Corporation." Close Corporations are often operated by...Continue

Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 261,737 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

Registered Agent Service

Harvard Business Services, Inc. guarantees your annual Delaware Registered Agent Fee will remain fixed at $50 per company, per year, for the life of your company.