Inc Versus Corp (Overview: Difference Between INC And CORP)

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What is the difference between Corp and Inc?

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Inc Versus Corp 

Is there a difference between INC and Corp?

Fundamentally, both “inc” and “corp” refer to the legal entity used to carry out business.

Business Entity Nomenclature

They are suffixes that a company founder can choose to name his or her corporation.

“INC” is short for incorporated.

“Corp” is short for “Corporation”.

Choosing between CORP or INC really comes down to a question of personal preference.

A registered business entity can use either INC as part of its name or Corp. 

Once a business entity is registered using INC or CORP, then that entity will need to refer to that suffix going forward.

When used in a business entity name, both Corp and Inc serve the same purpose: ensure that the public is made aware they are dealing with a legal entity as opposed to a natural person (or an individual).

Now that we know that INC or CORP are used in legal entity names, let’s dig a bit further and see the true technical differences (from a legal perspective).

Business Legal Structure

Inc and Corp are both used to refer to the legal structure of a business entity and these abbreviations are found in business entity names.

For example, Apple, Inc is a globally recognized company using “INC” in its legal entity name.

AT&T Corp is another famous company that uses the abbreviation “CORP” in its name.

In both instances, the INC and the Corp are used to show that we are referring to their registered business entity.

Difference Between INC And CORP

What are the legal differences between the reference to INC and Corp?


What is the meaning of the term “incorporated”?

The most common use of the term incorporated is by using its abbreviated “INC” in company names. 

However, incorporated has a very specific meaning.

The term “incorporated” is used to refer to a business entity created under the law.

In other words, when you file your articles of incorporation to form a corporation, we say that you have incorporated a company.


What is the meaning of the term “corporation”?

Just like INC, one common way the term corporation is used is in company names by making use of its abbreviation “CORP”.

The term corporation also has a specific meaning.

The term corporation is used to refer to a specific type of business entity that was incorporated and having shareholders.

This is in contrast to a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or other forms of business entities.

INC and CORP Characteristics 

What does it mean to have an INC or Corp?

A corporation or an incorporated business entity are both legally the same thing.

They are both legal vehicles used to conduct business.

For an INC or a Corp to come into existence, the founders must file the necessary articles of incorporation in accordance with the state laws.

When the business entity is legally formed, they both offer the same advantages to the business owners.

For example, INC and CORP entities offer their shareholders limited liability protection, issue shares to their shareholders, and have a separate legal existence as their founders.

Whether you are using INC or CORP in your company name, it will not make a legal difference.

Both CORP and INC entities offer the same legal advantages and benefits when starting a business.

What’s important is that if you registered your company with INC, you must then always use INC to refer to your company.

Similarly, if you registered your company with CORP, then that’s the legal name of your business entity.

In the end, from a tax structure, legal structure, limited liability exposure, compliance, or governance, there is no difference between a company named INC or CORP.

Inc Vs Corp Takeaways 

So, what is the difference between Inc and Corp?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

Inc Versus Corp

  • There are no legal differences between CORP and INC companies as they both refer to a registered business entity (particularly a corporation)
  • The word corporation refers to the actual business entity and the word incorporated means the act of incorporating a business (forming a business entity or incorporation)
  • Both “INC” and “CORP” entities come into existence when their founders file the necessary articles of incorporation with the relevant state and comply with state laws
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