Charter Law and Legal Definition

A Charter could refer to

1. An instrument that establishes a body politic or other organization. For example, Charter of the United Nations.

2. A grant made by the sovereign, either to the whole people or to a portion of them, securing to them the enjoyment of certain rights.

3. An instrument by which a municipality is incorporated, specifying its organizational structure and its highest laws. It is a written document making the persons residing within a fixed boundary, along with their successors, a corporation and body politic for and within that boundary, and prescribing the powers, privileges, and duties of the corporation. Also termed municipal charter. A municipal charter is superior to all ordinances enacted by that municipality, though inferior in rank to all State laws of every kind.

4. A governmental act that creates a business or defines a corporate franchise. The document evidencing this act is also called a charter.

5. A document incorporating an institution and specifying its rights. For example, Articles of Incorporation

6. A governing document granting authority or recognition from a parent organization to a subordinate or constituent organization, such as a local affiliate or chapter, organized under the first organization's authority or the instrument granting such authority or recognition.

7. The writing that accompanies a livery of seisin.

8. The leasing or hiring of an airplane, ship, or other vessel.