Companies can choose to incorporate, by filling the appropriate papers and paying a fee, in any
state that they choose. This becomes their charter state where they must maintain an office address.
Officers are chosen - president, vice-president, and secretary-treasurer, and a board of directors
may be established. It is the board of directors' duty to represent the shareholders, who of course
at the early stages of a company's life, are going to be the company founders.
Most corporations stay privately owned although they may elect to sell stock to qualified investors.
You can tell if a company is a corporation by seeing the "Inc." after its name, or other
letters such as LTD or AG if the company is based in a foreign country.
According the U.S. Census Bureau, of the 5,579,177 registered businesses in the United States,
5,562,799 have less than 500 employees. Of the 16,378 big companies with over 500 workers, about
half are privately owned.