Also known as a "civil corporation," a quasi corporation is an entity that is not incorporated like a general business but nonetheless holds some properties and functions traditionally belonging to corporations.
Examples of quasi corporations include counties, school districts, and state agencies. Like corporations, quasi corporations may have boards that make decisions for the entity. Furthermore, quasi corporations may be sued as an entity but there are generally at least some limitations on what type of actions may be brought against them.
For example, quasi corporations are generally shielded from civil liability and private action for negligence in the performance of their public duties, except in circumstances when such private actions are expressly permitted by statute. The rationale behind this limitation on liability is that quasi corporations generally exist to serve some form of public interest. Furthermore, some quasi corporations, such as civil divisions or agencies of the state, are sometimes established involuntarily for the purpose of assisting the state in conducting local administration. As a result, because they are involuntarily created for the benefit of the public and not necessarily the people who run them, some quasi corporations are shielded from certain modes of liability in the same manner as the state government.
For example, Illinois courts have explained that a board of education, established by the state, owns no property, no private corporate interests, and derives "no special benefits from its corporate acts." As a result, as an agency (and quasi corporation) established for the sole purpose of carrying out the state's administration of public education, it enjoys the same protection from liability as the state itself.
See also: municipal corporation
[Last updated in April of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]