Corporate Charter

DEFINITION of 'Corporate Charter'

A written document filed with a U.S. state by the founders of a corporation detailing the major components of a company such as its objectives, its structure and its planned operations. If the charter is approved by the state government, the company becomes a legal corporation.

Also referred to as "charter" and "articles of incorporation".

BREAKING DOWN 'Corporate Charter'

The details of a charter will vary based on specific regulations and the size of the company. However, at the most basic level, the charter will include the corporation's name, its purpose, the number of shares that are authorized to be issued and the names of the parties involved in the formation. This is generally the first document in the life of a corporation.

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