In law, a legal person is an individual or entity (such as a company) that enjoys the same rights and is subject to the same obligations as a human person. A legal person can enter into a contract, own property, set-up and run a business, sue and be sued. The term “legal person” is used to distinguish a “thing” from a human: not all “legal persons” are humans; they can be a company, organization and the likes. A “natural person”, on the other hand, always refers to a human being. The functions, such as duties and responsibilities of a legal person are and can only be carried out through a natural person. A “legal person” can take in many forms; it can be a privately owned business, a public company, a multinational corporation, a non-government organization,a union or not-for-profit organization.
Legal person qualification refers to being qualified to perform and act as a legal person, such as buying property, selling a product, suing a natural person or another legal person. To qualify as a “legal person”, an individual or a group of individuals must go through the procedures and meet the requirements stipulated by law. A company may lose its legal person qualification if it is engaged in some illicit activities or violates the regulations imposed by law, or it goes bankrupt. A legal person may also choose to “end its life” by filing with the concerned authorities. A union, for example, may file to dismiss itself, when it no longer serves the purpose it once did.