A corporation is a legal entity formed through laws based on the state it was incorporated in. Each state has the power to enforce certain laws relating to the formation, organization and dissolution of corporations. Many states adhere to the Model Business Corporation Act. According to state corporation laws, articles of incorporation are required to document the corporation's formation and provide provisions involving the management of internal affairs. Most of these laws also function under the assumption that each corporation will enforce bylaws to define the duties and responsibilities of officers, individuals, and groups within its structure. States also have registration laws requiring corporations that incorporate in other states to ask for permission regarding business operation in that other state.
Since Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933, there has also been a vital part of federal corporations law that controls how corporate securities are issued and sold. Requirements of fiduciary conduct are also handled by federal securities law. Federal securities law also enforces the requirement of corporations making full disclosures to investors and shareholders. Laws treat corporations as legal entities that are able to sue and be sued, distinct from investors and stockholders.