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Business Entities: Home

Resources for students, bar examinees, and researchers in the law of Business Entities.

Useful Definitions

Articles of Incorporation: A governing document that sets forth the basic terms of a corporation's existence, including the number and classes of shares and the purposes and duration of the corporation.

Corporation: An entity (usually a business) having authority under law to act as a single person distinct from the shareholders who own it and having rights to issue stock and exist indefinitely.

General Partnership: A partnership in which all partners participate fully in running the business and share equally in profits and  losses (though the partners' monetary contributions may vary).

Incorporation: The formation of a legal corporation.

Limited Partnership: A partnership composed of one or more persons who control the business and are personally liable for the partnership's debts (called general partners), and one or more persons who contribute capital and share profits but who cannot manage the business and are liable only for the amount of their contribution (called limited partners). 

Limited Liability Partnership: A partnership in which a partner is not liable for a negligent act committed by another partner or by an employee not under the partner's supervision.

Partnership: A voluntary association of two or more persons who jointly own and carry on a business for profit.

Shareholder: One who owns or holds a share or shares in a company, especially a corporation.

Stock: A proportional part of a corporation's capital represented by the number of equal units (or shares) owned, and granting the holder the right to participate in the company's general management and to share in its net profits or earnings.

All definitions come from Black’s Law Dictionary, 11th ed. (2019).


Business Entities is the study of companies and business organizations that are established for commercial purposes. The majority of business entities law deals with the formation and operation of business ventures. Common business ventures include: sole proprietorships, general partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability limited partnerships, and corporations. The differences between these entities are sometimes quite subtle. The main areas of difference are liability, taxation, formalities, financing, management, the life or duration of the business, and liquidity of investments.

Subscription Databases

Bloomberg Law: Under the Practice Centers tab, the Corporate/M&A link provides nine types of sources (including the current awareness resource, BNA Law Reports), a News & Analysis section, audio and video files addressing business news, and a search feature.

Lexis Advance: Browse Sources—Search “Business Entities” to find resources like Business Organizations with Tax Planning; Dorsaneo, Texas Litigation Guide; and Texas Transaction Guide: Legal Forms.

Browse Topics—Use the Business & Corporate Law link to locate documents in topics like Agency Relationships, Corporations, General Partnerships, and Limited Liability Companies.

WestlawEdge: Under Browse—Topics—Corporations, various resources are listed including Regulations, Secondary Sources, Forms, and Proposed & Enacted Legislation.

Under Tools—West Key Number System, 101: Corporations and Business Organizations and 289: Partnership may provide guidance in finding related materials.

Subject Guide

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