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I'm creating an online service and I want both individuals and companies to use it. In the registration form, I want to ask the user:

Are you an individual or a company?

Are these terms correct to refer to individuals (real persons) vs. companies and organizations? Are there any better legal substitutions for them?

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Saeed, is there a legal requirement for your site to use the right words? If so, you may want to check with a lawyer instead. If not, I think "individual" and "organization" covers them; the latter encompasses both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations. This is US-speak, at least. –  JeffSahol Sep 25 '11 at 12:11
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Lots of online services distinguish between corporate and personal users - in many cases with the latter being offered cheaper rates or a free service. –  FumbleFingers Sep 25 '11 at 12:45
    
Maybe instead of "Are you and individual or a company?" you should say "Is this registration for an individual or a company?" –  GEdgar Sep 25 '11 at 13:22
    
@FumbleFingers, Personal vs. Corporate in my eyes works just fine. Thank you. Why didn't you write your comment as an answer? –  Saeed Neamati Sep 25 '11 at 13:54
    
I write too many answers for my own good already! Seriously, I'm always happy for someone to take whatever I write in a comment, and post it as an answer. If you like it then feel free to post it yourself - there's nothing wrong with answering your own question, and if others like it too you'll get some useful rep from it. But note that I'm British, and I expect you'll want to consider American/worldwide usage besides just what seems good to me in the UK. –  FumbleFingers Sep 25 '11 at 15:16
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2 Answers

There are, depending on your legal jurisdiction, different types of entities, any of which can enter into a contract. Where I live, they are "person", "partnership" and "corporation". There is no legal distinction where I am between a company and an organization. Find out what your jurisdiction uses for terminology and go with that.

You should also make sure that you understand what each of the (three or more) classes of legal entities are entitled to do and not do. It could impact your terms of service language.

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I would use "person," or "human being" in place of "individual."

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