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A corporation that elects to be taxed as a corporation. The C corporation pays federal and state income taxes on earnings. When the earnings are distributed to the shareholders as dividends, this income is subject to another round of taxation (shareholder's income). Essentially, the C corporations' earnings are taxed twice. In contrast, the S corporation's earnings are taxed only once.
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A business that is legally completely separate from its owners. Most publicly-traded companies (and all major ones) fall under this classification. For United States tax purposes, C corporations are required to pay income taxes on their profits. The advantage to a C corporate structure is the fact that, unlike S corporations, there is no limit to the number of shareholders. A disadvantage is the fact that, because a C corporation is taxed itself and its individual shareholders are taxed on dividends, it is subject to double taxation.
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