Legal Person – What is it, concept, types and examples

We explain what a legal person is and its differences with a natural person. In addition, the types of legal entity and examples.

Legal person
A legal person is born according to a legal act or act of constitution.

What is a legal person?

A legal person or moral person is called a legal figure that allows the existence of an individual endowed with rights and obligations, but that it is not a citizen, but an institution, organization or company that pursues a social purpose with or without profit.

This figure is relatively recent in terms of rights. It has no direct equivalent in Roman law, since they thought about societies in a slightly different way, but they did understand the existence of “person vice pretense”, That is, institutions that carried out tasks similar to those of natural persons.

Later, during the Middle Ages, there was talk of “congregatio and communal”To refer to voluntary associations of individuals. The first mention of a proper legal entity will emerge at the end of the 18th century, according to two trends: the French Revolution and the Historical School of Law.

A legal person born according to a legal act or constitution act, that is, a founding legal event that is recognized by administrative bodies and authorities, which may require subscription to public records or compliance with certain legal conditions.

These types of figures subscribe many of the duties and rights of natural persons, except in the case of criminal offenses and of a similar nature, which cannot be attributed to the corporation but to natural persons who, living within it, are directly responsible for the crime committed. Nevertheless, it is possible to apply criminal sanctions to a legal person involved in criminal acts, although this is generally a matter for administrative law.

Legal person and natural person

Legal person
Legal persons can be made up of natural persons.

Legal persons and natural persons are different on many levels, despite being both legal figures that imply the attention of certain duties and the enjoyment of certain rights.

In fact, legal persons can be made up of natural persons or by other legal persons, while a natural person necessarily corresponds to a citizen.

The latter implies that a natural person does not need to demonstrate an initial capital to start his activity, as legal entities do, nor does it operate as a public limited company, limited liability company or partnership.

Types of legal entity

Usually a distinction is made between two forms of legal entity:

  • Legal persons of Public Law. Those that represent State entities and that look after their interests, having application within the territory of the country and for the citizens who live there, divided in turn into Legal Persons of Internal Public Law (action within the country) and Individuals External Public Law Legal (action outside the country).
  • Legal persons of Private Law. Those that represent private interests, regulated by specific commercial codes: associations, companies, cooperatives, commercial civil societies, etc. Whether these are for profit or not.

Examples of legal entity

Legal person
The international company Microsoft is considered a legal person.

Some examples of a legal entity are:

  • International technology companies such as Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei.
  • Transnational automobile companies such as Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Renault, Seat.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace, WWF International, BRAC.
  • International banks such as Deutsche Bank, Santander Río, BBVA, ICBC, HSBC.