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Business organized as a distinct legal entity with ownership evidenced by shares of stock. To form a corporation, "articles of incorporation" must be filed with the state. When approved, the state issues to the real estate company a "certificate of incorporation". The two documents in combination are referred to as the "corporate charter". each founding stockholder receives a certain number of shares of stock. A stockholder may sell his or her shares to others. A corporation is a legal entity separate from its owners. Advantages of the corporate form are unlimited life, limited liability of owners, ease to transferring stock, ability to obtain significant funds through public issuance of securities, and professional management.