The Meaning of INC: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of INC? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the abbreviation INC, including its definition, usage, and more!

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What does the abbreviation INC mean?

According to Legal Zoom and Chron Small Business, the abbreviation INC means “incorporated.” This term, as well as the full form of the word, mean that a company’s business structure is legally a corporation. If a business is a corporation, this means that it is a separate legal entity from its shareholders and owners. It technically becomes a different “person” under the law, and separates the people involved with the company from the company itself. Therefore, the owners are afforded limited liability, and if an owner dies or for some reason cannot be connected to the company anymore, the corporation can live on as its own entity.

There are various different types of corporations. Once you go through the process of becoming incorporated, you can put “inc.” or “incorporated” after your name or company name. Different states in the United States and Canada have various rules concerning the different types of corporations and what their rights are. The two types of corporations are an S corporation (S corp.) or a C corporation (C corp.). C corporations are the most common type. In this type of corporation, taxes are paid on the corporate level and at the individual level on dividends. In an S corporation, profits and losses tend to “pass-through” the business to the owners’ personal income tax returns. This is why an S corp. can also be called a pass-through tax entity, as well as a close corporation. This means that it is limited to no more than 100 shareholders, who must be United States citizens. Often, creatives such as actors will incorporate themselves as an S corp. for tax purposes as a sole proprietorship.

After you decide which type of corporation you want to have, you must choose your state of incorporation. Each state has different laws that are more or less favorable to corporations. Each corporation must have directors and a registered agent. The agent agrees to receive important legal and tax documents on behalf of the business and must be able to receive them during normal business hours. Delaware may have different requirements for trustees or beneficiaries than another state. 

Next, after you have chosen a state of incorporation, you must compile and file articles of incorporation with the Secretary of state under state law. Usually, lawyers do this. There will also be a filing fee you must pay. After you are incorporated, you can place incorporated, inc., corp., co. corporation, or company after your business name to indicate that it is an incorporated entity.

According to The Free Dictionary, INC can be used for much more than just an abbreviation for incorporated. The acronym INC can stand for a plethora of different meanings and slang term. However, these definitions, while valid, are far less common and should be used sparingly. If you do decide to use one of these alternate definitions for INC, make sure that you provide the reader with the proper context so they can infer the correct meaning. 

  •  Interface Network Controller
  •  Industria Nacional del Cemento (Spanish: National Cement Industry; Paraguay)
  •  International Carrier (LSSGR)
  •  Insertable Nuclear Component
  •  Inconclusive
  •  Intranuclear Cascade
  •  Incomplete
  •  International Concepts (clothing brand)
  •  Iraqi National Congress
  •  Instituto Nacional del Consumo (Spanish: National Consumer Institute)
  •  Isotope and Nuclear Chemistry
  •  International Noise Conspiracy (band)
  •  Idaho-Nevada-California
  •  Increase
  •  Independent Norm Constraint
  •  Industrial Cooperation (Program; Canada)
  •  Increment
  •  Installation Network Center
  •  Integrated Non-Filer Compliance
  •  individual network component
  •  International Navigation Congress (conference)
  •  Intelligent Network Controller
  •  Include File
  •  Iglesia Ni Cristo
  •  In Combat (gaming)
  •  Indian National Congress
  •  Industry Numbering Committee
  •  National Culture Institute (Peru)
  •  Incendiary
  •  Income
  •  Item Name Code
  •  Interface Network Card
  •  Institut National de la Consommation (French: National Consumer Institute)
  •  Isaacs Neighborhood Center (New York)
  •  Industrial Noise Control (North Aurora, IL)
  •  In the Name of Christ
  •  Implementation Notification Certificate
  •  Inter-Neighborhood Council (various locations)
  •  Internet Controller
  •  Instituto Nacional de Cultura (Peru)
  •  Institut National du Cinéma (Algeria)
  •  International Nursing Conference
  •  Instancia Nacional de Consenso (Spanish: National Consensus Instance; Guatemala)
  •  Italian NGO Consortium
  •  International Network of Crackers
  •  Institute of Network Cultures (est. 2004; Netherlands)
  •  Internet Nonprofit Center
  •  Internet Cafe
  •  International Narcotics Control (US State Department)
  •  Incoming (gaming)
  •  Integrated Network Controller
  •  Israel Navigation Company (est. 1945)
  •  Interim National Council
  •  Incredibly Nice Chaps (gaming clan)
  •  Inbound National Calls
  •  Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
  •  International Network Conference

What is the different between Inc., LLC, and Ltd.?

In comparison to an incorporated company, LLC stands for limited liability company, according to Inc Now. Most often, small businesses and property owners decide to open a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This is a relatively recent creation and has been available since the late 1970s, though it did not overtake corporations as a popular form of business entity until the mid-2000s. This is due to the unparalleled versatility and protection offered by the limited company. This is a very flexible business model. Members who own an LLC have it operated by either third-party managers or the members themselves. LLCs can have one or several members, and these members can or cannot have voting power. There are no filings required with the state if the ownership division changes, and there are no annual meetings required. To open an LLC, one has to file the LLC Operating Agreement, which is the governing document that lays out the ownership percentage of each member. Almost 75% of new businesses formed today are LLCs.  LLCs have a board of directors.

Ltd. is an abbreviation for limited, which means that the assets of the owners of the company are protected from the debts, creditors and other liabilities of the business. In this case, an owner’s liability is limited to capital and their other contributions like investments. This form of entity encourages investments and promotes economic growth by lowering the personal risk. There are also general partners (GP), limited partnership, LLP, limited partners, DBA, B-Corp, public benefit corporation, Not-for-Profit Corporation, limited liability partnership, and a series LLC, which is a variation of the LLC. All of these have significant disadvantages and a drawback as well as advantages for the involved parties.

Overall, the abbreviation INC is most often used as an abbreviation for incorporated. Different types of businesses must pay taxes on their earnings differently to the IRS, and have different relationships with stockholders as a separate group of people or association of people. They also have different liability issues when it comes to the shareholder’s liability and shareholder’s ability in industrial enterprise. Each private company has a different kind of legal structure. This is a shorthand for a business operation.


  1. INC – What does INC stand for? | The Free Dictionary 
  2. The Difference Between Inc. & Ltd. & Co. Business Models & Organizational Structure | Chron 
  3. What Does LLC, Inc, Co, Corp, and Ltd Mean? | Inc Now 
  4. What Is “Inc” In a Company Name? | Legal Zoom