The corporation is commonly perceived as a self-evident way of understanding what a business is and how it operates. And yet, almost all of the specific properties that make up the modern corporation would have been unthinkable less than two centuries ago. Until the start of the nineteenth century, the partnership form remained dominant for private ventures and the law of partnerships ruled the ventures that did receive a corporate charter (Ireland, 2010; Mclean, 2004). Most of the ideas that define the modern corporation, including incorporation and perpetuity for private ventures; limited liability; the separate legal entity; attributions of ownership; attributions of (citizenship) rights and (contractual) agency to a separate legal ‘entity’; the capacity for a corporate entity to ‘own’ another corporate entity; and the capacity for groups of such entities to operate over jurisdictional borders are concepts that have been developed mostly during the nineteenth century.