DEFINITION of 'Charter'

A legal document that provides for the creation of a corporate entity. A corporation's charter is issued by either a federal or a regional government and effectively creates a legal entity out of the business, which existed only as a partnership, sole proprietorship or similar business before incorporating.

Also referred to as "articles of incorporation".


A corporation's charter, once issued by the government of jurisdiction, will vary in structure depending on the country in which it's issued. However, most charters usually include the corporation's name, the location of its head office, the date of incorporation, the amount/type of stock to be issued and any restrictions on areas of business activity or further share issuances.

  1. Authorized Stock

    The maximum number of shares that a corporation is legally permitted ...
  2. Articles Of Incorporation

    A set of documents filed with a government body to legally document ...
  3. Technical Skills

    1. The knowledge and abilities needed to accomplish mathematical, ...
  4. Sole Proprietorship

    The sole proprietor is an unincorporated business with one owner ...
  5. Limited Partnership - LP

    Two or more partners united to conduct a business jointly, and ...
  6. Partnership

    A business organization in which two or more individuals manage ...
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    The Basics Of Corporate Structure

    CEOs, CFOs, presidents and vice presidents: learn how to tell the difference.
  2. Investing Basics

    Policing The Securities Market: An Overview Of The SEC

    Find out how this regulatory body protects the rights of investors.
  3. Stock Analysis

    How To Start Your Own Private Equity Fund

    Here's a how-to guide on starting on starting a private equity firm.
  4. Investing

    Hybrid Business: Rise of Nonprofits in Private Sector

    Businesses are embracing a mutually beneficial partnership wherein the ideals of the nonprofit sector are coupled with profit motive and capacity to scale.
  5. Professionals

    Top Tips for Prepping Your Practice for a Sale

    There’s much more to selling a business than finding the highest bidder and getting cash. Here's some help.
  6. Term

    What is Passive Income?

    Passive income is earned by someone from ventures in which they did not actively participate.
  7. Term

    What are Limited Partnerships?

    A limited partnership involves two or more partners conducting a business, but one is only liable for his capital investment. They are also called silent partnerships or limited liability partnerships.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Strategic Alliances

    A strategic alliance is a business relationship between two or more entities that share recourses for a common goal.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    An Inside Look at Pinterest's Business Model

    Learn about Pinterest and the type of company it is trying to become. Understand the company's business model and what makes it unique.
  10. Entrepreneurship

    What's the Purpose of IRS Form 1065?

    Business partners need the information on this form to complete their own tax returns. Here are the details.
  1. What's the difference between publicly- and privately-held companies?

    Privately-held companies are - no surprise here - privately held. This means that, in most cases, the company is owned by ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How are joint ventures regulated in the United States?

    Joint ventures are a very specific type of business arrangement. They can be organized in several different legal structures, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can I buy insurance to reduce unlimited liability in a partnership?

    Partnership insurance is actually quite common. Most of the time, partners buy insurance to safeguard against the possibility ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are the benefits for a company investing in a greenfield investment?

    Advantages of greenfield investments include increased control, the ability to form marketing partnerships and the avoidance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What is a family Limited Liability Company (LLC)?

    A family limited liability company (LLC) is formed by family members to conduct business in a state that permits such form ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between a silent partner and a general partner?

    Business structures provide benefits to business owners and entrepreneurs. In the small business arena, the most common business ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  2. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  3. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  5. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  6. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!