Corp. is short for corporation and Inc. stands for incorporated. They are both used in names of incorporated entities. When you register a business, you can use either in the business name.
In terms of legal structure, compliance obligations, limited liability or tax structure, there is no difference between the two. However, they cannot be used interchangeably. Once an institution is registered with Corp. or Inc. in the company name, it must use this extension in all its legal paperwork.
- Both Inc. and Corp. represent an institution that is granted a charter recognizing it as a separate legal entity having its own privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of its members.
- An important feature of both is limited liability, which means that the shareholders, directors, employees are not personally liable for the debts that the institution owes to the creditors.
- The company whether it is a Corp or an Inc comes into legal existence when its founders comply with their state’s incorporation process.
Bottomline: It doesn’t matter which one you choose: Inc. or Corp. Having made a choice in the company name, the business cannot use the other extension without filing for a formal change of name.
When forming a new business entity, it is more important to think about the structure of the entity. For example, will it be an Inc or LLC? And if it’s a corporation, choosing between a C-Corp or S-Corp. These entity types have different tax and regulatory obligations.