Business law, also referred to as commercial law or transactional law, is the body of legislation that applies to the legal rights, privileges, and actions of individuals and companies engaged in commercial activity, merchandising, business, and commerce. It is also often considered a subdivision of criminal law and involves issues of public policy and personal law. One important branch of this law is contract law. This body of legislation governs the creation, formation, operation, and termination of commercial relationships. Some of the areas of business law that fall under these general heading are business litigation, business licensing, business transactions, creditor protection, employer/employee relations, government regulation, and real estate. There are also sub-branches such as intellectual property, gaming, telemarketing, financial transaction, consumer protection, and anti-commerce regulations.
Taxation is an important area of business law. This area of law addresses the taxation of individuals and businesses based on their ability to generate income and profit. The taxation law of many countries falls under this general heading. It can include national, state, and local taxes, franchise taxes, sales taxes, property taxes, personal income taxes, corporate taxes, and estate taxes.
Regulation is another important area of business law. Regulation refers to the control of organizations through the authority granted to them by public organizations and bodies such as the Federal Trade Commission or the Department of Justice. Public organizations and bodies may include the United States Environmental Protection Agency or the Food and Drug Administration. Regulating entities include corporations, partnerships, LLCs, S corporations, and partnerships. Private entities such as partnerships are not subject to regulation under modern business law. The purpose of regulating businesses is to protect consumers from harm and promote the productivity of businesses by insuring quality products and services and keeping costs down.
Business litigation covers a wide range of activities that help business owners accomplish their legal goals. Some of these activities include preliminary agreements, litigation, commercial leases, contracts, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, divestitures, distribution, patenting, marketing, administrative actions, and class action lawsuits. Litigation can occur in state and federal courts as well as in tribunals, such as the Small Business Administration or the US Courts. Business litigation attorneys provide legal advice to business owners in matters ranging from corporate issues to employment law. Litigation attorneys collect fees only when they win a lawsuit. Attorneys generally work on a contingency basis, collecting a percentage of any settlement or award.
There are many areas of business law, where attorneys specialize. They include mergers and acquisitions, licensing activities, contracting practices, contract enforcement, real estate transactions, pollution claims, and securities and commodities exchanges. Law school training provides students with an overview of the particular areas of business that they will be handling as attorneys. Students can earn associate’s degrees and certificate programs in business law.
Most business courses focus on contract enforcement. Contract is the fundamental business activity for all businesses. Most contracts are written for one year and many require renewal. Businesses have to abide by the laws of the country where they operate. Most states have antistate laws and it is usually offered at least once per academic year.
Businesses must abide by the Uniform Commercial Code that regulates interstate and intrastate sales and purchases. Businesses have to hire competent and experienced lawyers to comply with this code. Most states also have rules and regulations regarding unfair practices. Business owners have to comply with these rules and regulations or risk stiff penalties. Businesses may also be held responsible for injuries occurring on their property or claims arising out of their business transactions. Businesses therefore consider taking business law courses to enhance their knowledge on how to comply with the various laws regulating their businesses.
Business attorneys represent their clients before the courts and settle disputes, sometimes winning the cases. They also offer advice to small businesses and individuals on various legal issues. There are special attorneys to handle malpractice, professional misconduct and errors and omissions. These attorneys are usually available to take calls on a 24 hour basis and offer free consultations.