Natural person and legal person

The natural person is every human being that exists and manifests itself, while the legal person is a legal entity with legal representation.

According to this, natural persons can come together to create a moral person when they have a common goal. An example of this are professional associations, where different individuals come together and decide to present themselves legally to achieve certain demands of the union within the framework of the law.

The legal role of legal entities will change depending on the legislation of the country where they are located, the same happens with the duties and rights of natural persons.

The main difference between them is that the human being from birth is recognized as a natural person, while the legal person begins to exist when human beings decide to create it, attending to the legal requirements of each country.

Physical personMoral person
DefinitionAnyone, from the moment of birth to death. You have rights and obligations.A legal entity with legal recognition. You have rights and obligations.
When are they recognizedSince they are born.Since they are created.
  • They are identified by name.
  • They are tangible.
  • Your rights begin with your birth.
  • Your obligations begin with the age of majority.
  • They can have more than one nationality.
  • They have marital status.
  • They are identified by their business name.
  • They are intangible.
  • Your rights begin as soon as they are created.
  • Your obligations begin as soon as they are created.
  • They can only have one nationality.
  • They have no marital status.
  • Child.
  • A student.
  • A salaried professional.
  • An entrepreneur.
  • A limited liability company (SRL).
  • An NGO.
  • A sindicate.
  • A civil association.

What is a natural person?

When we speak of a natural person, we refer to every human being that exists, with their obligations and rights established by law.

Human rights are held by every individual from birth, and legal obligations begin to have them as soon as they reach the age of majority.

For example, in democratic countries such as Mexico, individuals or individuals have the right to publicly express their opinion and have the duty to pay their taxes.

See also: Human rights and fundamental guarantees

Characteristics of a natural person

Every natural person has distinctive characteristics in legal terms. These are some of them:

  • A physical person is any human being with a real existence.
  • The rights of the natural person are in force from the moment of his birth until the moment of his death.
  • One of the ways in which your individualization is expressed is through your first and last name.
  • Individuals have a marital status: single, married, divorced, widowed.
  • A natural person can have several nationalities.
  • Natural persons, once they have reached the age of majority and fulfilling the corresponding requirements, can exercise various economic activities, such as working independently or as a salaried employee, buying or selling a property, associating to create a legal entity, etc.

What is a moral person?

When we speak of a moral person, we refer to an entity made up of different individuals who have common objectives. Some examples are associations, foundations, companies and societies.

These legal persons play an important role in society, as they are legally recognized and with this recognition they come to have certain legal rights and duties.

See also Contract and agreement

Characteristics of a legal person

Legal persons also have rights and obligations, but they are expressed differently from those of a natural person, namely:

  • The main way to individualize a legal person is through their business name, which would be the name of the organization.
  • Although legal entities have rights and obligations, these are only limited to the purpose for which they were created. A legal person dedicated to the commercialization of perishable food does not have the same rights and obligations as another dedicated to the protection of homeless children.
  • The legal entity does not require a specific seniority to begin to exercise its rights and obligations, since these are activated at the same moment in which it is legally created.
  • The legal person lacks civil status.
  • Although it depends on the legislation of each country, generally legal persons can only have roots in the country in which they were created. In other words, a company created in Mexico can only be considered Mexican, according to the laws in force in that nation.

Examples of physical and moral person

These are some everyday examples of individuals and corporations

  • A newborn : by the mere fact of being born, it is a natural person with rights that must be protected by the competent laws (right to life, identity, education, access to health, etc.).
  • A man who has just reached the age of majority : he is still a natural person, who now in addition to having rights must fulfill certain obligations, according to the laws of his country. Some of your rights would be the right to vote, the right to buy a good (a car, apartment, etc.); while his obligations would be to be responsible before the law for the acts he commits, pay his taxes, etc.
  • A woman who works from home offering digital writing services : she is a natural person who exercises an economic activity, therefore, she must comply with the corresponding obligations (issue invoices, pay taxes, etc.).
  • A limited liability company (SRL) : it is a legal entity, as it is made up of two or more natural persons who have joined together to create a company in a specific branch. That company will have the rights and obligations that correspond to the heading and functions that it executes.
  • A non-governmental organization (NGO) : it is a legal entity, made up of several natural persons who came together to create an entity that is generally not for profit.
  • A trade union association : it is a legal person made up of a group of workers from the same category, who are grouped together in order to exercise their labor rights, obtain claims from the employer, etc.

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