Public Corporation Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Public Corporation, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Public Corporation?

It refers to the company or a firm which has issued shares through initial public offering thereby having common public as shareholders or members of the company. It also refers to the government owned company because any investment, entity or funds owned by government is known to be “public” property.

History and Meaning of Public Corporation

A public corporation is a type of business that is owned and operated by the government. The government has the authority to create a public corporation, which is usually set up to provide a public service or function that would be difficult for private enterprise to provide. A public corporation is different from a private corporation, which is owned by individuals or private investors.

The concept of a public corporation has been in existence for centuries, but it was not until the rise of modern capitalism in the 19th century that the idea gained widespread popularity. In the United States, public corporations became increasingly common during the New Deal era of the 1930s, when the government created a number of public corporations to help stimulate the economy and provide public services.

Examples of Public Corporation

  1. Amtrak – a government-created corporation that provides intercity passenger rail service in the United States.
  2. USPS – the United States Postal Service is a public corporation that is responsible for delivering mail and packages throughout the country.
  3. BBC – the British Broadcasting Corporation is a publicly owned corporation that is responsible for broadcasting high-quality news, entertainment and sports programs.

Legal Terms Similar to Public Corporation

  1. State-owned enterprise – a legal entity that is owned and operated by a government or state.
  2. State corporation – a public, autonomous body created by the state in order to conduct commercial or industrial activities on behalf of the government.
  3. Municipal corporation – a legal entity created by the state or federal government that has the power to govern a specific geographical area.