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Incorporate vs. Integrate: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 27, 2023
"Incorporate" means to include or take in something as part of a group, system, or whole, while "integrate" refers to combining parts so that they work together effectively.

Key Differences

"Incorporate" usually implies adding something new to an existing entity to make it part of the whole, without necessarily losing its original identity. To "integrate," on the other hand, often involves combining with something else in such a way that it becomes indistinguishable within the new whole.
When a company decides to incorporate, it is legally declaring its business as a distinct entity from its owners. Integrating, however, can mean that a company is combining various systems or processes into a unified whole that functions cohesively.
You can incorporate ingredients into a recipe, meaning you add them into the mix. To integrate those same ingredients would mean you combine them in a way that they become a unified mixture, where individual ingredients are no longer distinct.
An organization might incorporate new policies into their handbook, suggesting the addition of new rules or guidelines. If they integrate these policies, it indicates that the new policies have been seamlessly blended into the existing practices.
A designer may incorporate various styles into a collection, suggesting a range of distinct designs within a single lineup. When these styles are integrated, the result is a collection that has a fluid, cohesive appearance, though it may be composed of diverse elements.

Comparison Chart


To include something as part of a whole
To combine parts into a unified whole




Distinct parts within a whole
Unified or indistinguishable parts

Usage in Business

Legal formation of a company
Combining systems or teams

Example in Cooking

Adding nuts to a cake batter
Mixing ingredients until uniform

Incorporate and Integrate Definitions


To include as part of something larger.
The new design will incorporate a seating area.


To bring together or amalgamate.
We integrated the new software into our daily operations.


To take in or contain.
The textbook incorporates the latest research findings.


To make open to people of all races or ethnic groups.
The company’s policy is to integrate its workforce.


To blend or combine features.
The new car model incorporates various safety features.


To combine into a whole.
The schools were integrated into one unified district.


Legal entity formation.
She decided to incorporate her business.


To assimilate information.
He integrated the feedback into his report.


To embody or represent.
The constitution incorporates the principles of democracy.


To harmonize.
The team worked to integrate their strategies.


To unite (one thing) with something else already in existence
Incorporated the letter into her diary.


To make into a whole by bringing all parts together; unify
A report that integrates the findings of previous studies.


To admit as a member to a corporation or similar organization.


To join with something else; unite
A music program that was integrated with the general curriculum.


What's the first step to incorporate a company in the U.S.?

File articles of incorporation with the state.

What's an example of integrate in math?

To solve an integral in calculus.

Can integration happen instantly?

Typically, it's a gradual process.

Does incorporation make you liable for business debts?

No, it generally limits personal liability.

Can a company both incorporate and integrate?

Yes, it can legally incorporate and also integrate systems or staff.

How does a chef incorporate ingredients?

By adding and mixing them into a dish.

How do you integrate new technology into a business?

By systematically combining it with existing processes.

How does a law integrate into society?

Through implementation and widespread acceptance.

Are incorporated elements always visible?

They can be either visible or seamlessly included.

Can integrate be used in a technical sense?

Yes, like integrating software or hardware into a system.

What does it mean to incorporate a business?

It means to form a new corporation, a legal entity separate from its owners.

Can you incorporate without changing the whole?

Yes, incorporation can maintain the distinctness of added elements.

What does it mean to incorporate feedback?

To include suggestions or critiques into a revised plan or design.

Can you integrate something temporarily?

Generally, integration implies a degree of permanence.

What does integrate mean in social terms?

To end separation of different races and bring them into equal membership in society.

Does integrate mean to blend completely?

Yes, so that the individual parts are no longer separate.

How does cultural integration affect society?

It leads to a more inclusive, diverse community.

Can one incorporate ideas?

Yes, ideas can be included in a plan or concept.

Is incorporate more a legal term or a general term?

It's both but often used legally regarding company formation.

Does integrate always mean equal parts?

No, but it does mean that parts function as a whole.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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