A legal entity that gives a business or organizaiton (or sometimes a church, town, or city) in the USA rights similar to those of an individual. Corporations limit liability for their employees and stockholders, who are protected from many of the actions or consequences of the corporation’s actions. Since corporations are granted many of the rights of individuals but not the same responsibilities (legal or ethical), it’s not always clear who to hold accountable for the consequences of corporate actions. Corporations can own property and assets but cannot vote. However, they can make tax-deductible contributions just as individuals can.
In the USA, corporations were created as a way of spreading risk for large, public projects like dams, railroads, and other large-scale construction that would not occur otherwise. In this way, the very foundation of corporations was created with the intent that they serve public or social purposes.
About 17% of businesses in the USA are corporations (including C-Corps, LLCs, and S-Corps).