An association of persons recognized by the law as having a collective personality. The corporation can act as if it were distinct from its members: it has ‘perpetual succession’ and a common seal. It can therefore contract quite freely – it can also be fined, but it obviously cannot be sent to prison or incur penalties which can only be applied to individuals. A corporation is either a corporation sole or a corporation aggregate.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.