In criminology, corporate crime refers to crimes committed either by a corporation (i.e., a business entity having a separate legal personality from the natural persons that manage its activities), or by individuals acting on behalf of a corporation or other business entity (see vicarious liability and corporate liability). For the worst corporate crimes, corporations may face judicial dissolution, sometimes called the "corporate death penalty", which is a legal procedure in which a corporation is forced to dissolve or cease to exist.
Some negative behaviours by corporations may not actually be criminal; laws vary between jurisdictions. For example, some jurisdictions allow insider trading.
Corporate crime overlaps with:white-collar crime, because the majority of individuals who may act as or represent the interests of the corporation are white-collar professionals; organized crime, because criminals may set up corporations either for the purposes of crime or as vehicles for laundering the proceeds of crime. The world's gross criminal product has been estimated at 20 percent of world trade. (de Brie 2000); and state-corporate crime because, in many contexts, the opportunity to commit crime emerges from the relationship between the corporation and the state.