UK Accounting Glossary
An entity that is recognised by the law as a legal person.
An Artificial person is an entity that is recognised by the law as a Legal Person i.e. an entity holding legal rights and duties distinct from the individuals whom comprise it.
For example: A registered company is a person in the sense that it can sue or be sued, as well hold property etc. in it’s own name.
A company is not however, an individual or natural person.
An artificial person is sometimes also referred to in Law as a juridical person, fictitious person, legal person, juristic person or moral person.
An artificial person is an entity created by law and given similar legal rights and duties to that of a human being. It can be real or imaginary and for the purpose of legal reasoning is treated more or less as a human being. For example, a corporation, company etc.
A registered company is regarded by the law as a person: albeit an artificial person.
Once a company is registered, it becomes an artificial person. It enjoys the benefits, rights, duties and liabilities which a natural person enjoys. A natural person is a legal entity from birth but an artificial person becomes a legal entity once it has been incorporated.
A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners. Corporations enjoy most of the rights and responsibilities that individuals possess: they can enter contracts, loan and borrow money, sue and be sued, hire employees, own assets and pay taxes. Some also refer to it as an “artificial person” or “legal person.”
Once registered a company has it’s own “corporate” personality. It is in itself it’s own legal entity (or legal person) with its own legal rights and obligations, separate and distinct from those of its members and/or directors. The company’s property is it’s own and is not treated as belonging to the company’s shareholders and directors.
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This glossary post was last updated: 6th May 2019.