What are the differences between a natural and a legal person?

a. A natural person remains the same; they simply acquire the status of merchant due to their execution of a commercial activity in a professional manner. A legal person, once incorporated, is a person that is different from the individuals that comprise it.


b. A natural person always acts with their personal name, although they can use a different name when registering the commercial establishment. Since a legal person is an entity independent from the partners, it has its own name and must act as such, without having to identify the individuals that comprise it. 


c. The natural person acts on their own, while the legal person must act through their legal representative to enter into obligations, as well as to execute acts that are specific to business owners.


d. A natural person is identified by their national identification number, and the DIAN assigns them a NIT, which is the same national identification number with one additional digit; a legal person is identified by the certificate of existence and legal representation, and the NIT that the DIAN assigns.


e. A legal person has their own equity, which is independent from the partners' equity; therefore, in order to fulfill the obligations a company is required first, in order to respond and comply with its equity or otherwise its partners. A natural person responds with all of its assets, which can be comprised of all of the assets of the company, personal assets or their family's.

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