Differences Between Natural Person and Legal Person with Table

Difference between natural and legal person

Question covered in this post:

1. What is a natural person and legal person?

2. How is a legal person different from a natural person?

2. Distinguish between natural and juristic person with example.

Meaning and Definition of Person

The term 'person' is derived from the Latin word 'persona' which means a mask worn by actors playing different roles in a drama. In modern days, it has been used in a sense of a living person capable of having rights and duties. Now it has been used in different senses in different disciplines.

In the philosophical and moral sense, the term person has been used to mean the rational quality of a human being. In law, it has a wide meaning. It means not only human beings but also associations as well. Law personifies some real thing and treats it as a legal person. This personification both theoretically and practically clarifies thought and expression.

There are human beings who are not persons in legal sense such as outlaws and slaves in early times. In the same way, there are legal persons who are not human beings such as corporations, companies, and trade unions; institutions like universities, and hospitals are examples of artificial personalities recognized by law in the modern age.

Hence, the person is an important category of concept in legal theory, particularly business and corporate laws have extensively used the concept of person for protection as well as imposing liability.

According to Salmond - "A person is any being whom the law regards as capable of rights and bound by legal duties."

Savigny defines the term person as the subject or bearer of a right.

According to Gray "A person is an entity to which rights and duties may be attributed."

According to Austin, the term person includes physical or natural person including every being which can be deemed human.

Kinds of Person

There are two kinds of person.
  1. Natural Person
  2. Legal Person

Meaning and Definition of Natural Person

A natural person is a living human being regarded by law as a natural person. Natural persons are all human beings who are capable of holding rights and duties in the eye of the law. A natural person is a person having legal status as an individual, as distinguished from a corporate body, representative, etc. For example, living human beings.

According to Holland, "A natural person is such a human being as is recognized by the law as capable of holding rights and duties."

According to Austin, "A natural person is the human being, invested with a condition or a status."

Features of Natural Person

  • Born alive
  • Living human being
  • Capable of having rights and duties

Meaning and Definition of Legal Person

A legal person is any subject matter other than a human being to which law attributes personality. The legal person is the creation and fiction of law to whose rights and duties may be attributed by law. The law treats them as rights and duties-bearing units or entities like a natural person. For example, corporation, idol, and trust.

According to Salmond, "A legal person is any subject matter or other than a human being to which the law attributes personality."

According to Keeton, "Juristic persons are those things or groups of persons which the law deems capable of holding rights and duties."

Features of Legal Person

  • Created by natural person
  • Non-living human being
  • Capable of having rights and duties

Difference between Natural Person and Legal Person

The differences between natural person and legal person have been described below:

Natural PersonLegal Person
1. A natural person is person having legal status as an individual, as distinguished from a corporate body, representative, etc.1. A legal person is any subject-matter other than a human being to which law attributes personality.
2. Only living human beings can be regarded as natural person.2. Any entity which is registered as legal person by law is regarded as legal person.
3. The life of natural person is uncertain and limited.3. The life of legal person is certain and unlimited.
4. The liability of natural person is unlimited.4. The liability of legal person is limited.
5. Natural Person is always represented by him/her self.5. Legal Person is always represented by natural person.
6. Natural Person can enjoy fundamental rights.6. Legal Person cannot enjoy fundamental rights.
7. Natural Person is not allowed to do that things which are not permitted by law.7. Legal Person is allowed to do that things which are permitted by law.
8. Natural Person can create legal person.8. Legal Person cannot create natural person.
9. Birth, sex and reproduction is possible.9. Birth, sex and reproduction is not possible.
10. Natural Person is an actual human being.10. Legal Person is an fictional being created by law.
11. Natural Person has physical appearance and can be touched.11. Legal Person cannot be seen and touched.
12. For example, human beings etc.12. For example, idol, corporations and trust etc.

Conclusion

The natural person is a normal human being capable of holding rights and duties while the legal person is a fictional being which is created by law and they are also capable of holding rights provided by law.

Read this: Differences Between Rights and Duties with Table 

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