The article will discuss in detail what “business law” is and how it’s relevant to everyday life. It also covers the differences between criminal and civil law.
In today’s world, it isn’t easy to think about anything without running into business law at some point. Business Law is a branch of legal theory that deals with the laws of business corporations, partnerships, or other organizations that are not governments or countries. The primary task of the lawyer practicing in this field is to ensure that all business transactions adhere to the governing regulations set forth by these laws. A concise definition for Business Law would be: “The study of legal principles applied specifically to businesses. It also deals with corporate law, corporations and partnerships, contracts, torts, and other legal topics pertaining to businesses.”
Business Law is something that we are taught in high school. But the truth is, most people don’t know what it truly entails. This article will cover the basics of business law and its relevance to our daily lives. This article will also compare the difference between criminal and civil law.
What is Business Law?
The field of law that covers the legal aspects of business and corporate organizations, called “business law,” deals with legalities regarding the formation, conduct, and operations of those businesses in which there is a profit motive. The primary focus of business law is to ensure that a corporation or organization adheres to the regulations outlined in its operating agreements. Those rules are established by governmental and private bodies that have been granted this authority through legislation or by charter.
From A-Z Dictionary:
Business – a person, group of persons, or establishment engaged in commercial activity.
Law – a set of rules of action established by custom or authority.
Corporation – An organization or association formed and authorized by the state to act as a single person.
Criminal Law – The branch of law deals with the detection, prosecution, and punishment of those guilty of crimes.
Criminal Law vs. Civil Law
Business law deals with legal issues concerning the formation, operation, and transactions between business entities and individuals. On the other hand, criminal law relates to disputes between private citizens and public authorities (government officials). Criminal cases are generally brought where an individual’s actions have affected another person physically, emotionally, or financially. For example, if a man steals a car, he has been charged with a criminal act. On the other hand, if the same man borrows your vehicle and doesn’t bring it back, you would be forced to pursue him through civil court. A civil case is brought against an individual or business where no physical harm has occurred.
Civil lawsuits are generally filed for monetary damages due to breach of contract and personal injuries. In contrast to criminal cases, civil cases are initiated by the plaintiff (the party being sued) and may lead to monetary damages or compensatory relief such as an injunction (injunctions will be discussed later in this article).
Civil lawsuits often take longer to resolve, and there are usually no jail sentences involved as with criminal cases. Criminal cases also require more significant procedural safeguards such as the right to an attorney, a speedy trial, and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty (these will be discussed later in this article).
Civil vs. Criminal Law
Business Law deals with legal issues concerning businesses. The primary concern is regulating business conduct. Companies operate under agreements and charters that are set forth by either private or public organizations. Civil law deals with issues that involve the legal rights of individuals. Criminal law is concerned with both private and public disputes. Example: if the same man who borrowed your car and didn’t return it decides to punch you in the face, he has committed a criminal act.
Business law encompasses nearly every legal issue that a business may come up against. Those issues include, but are not limited to:
Corporate formation, organizational structure, employment issues, real estate purchases & sales, working capital needs, and expansion capital needs. These issues are regulated by state and federal laws governing business entities’ conduct. Businesses operate under charters (or articles of incorporation) granted by private or public organizations (governments).
Also, businesses are governed through contracts.
A contract is an agreement between two or more parties that is enforceable under law. Businesses enter into contracts for their various services, such as electricity and telephone. These agreements spell out the terms of their respective obligations.
Contracts may be written or verbal, but both are enforced by law so long as they are reciprocal (both parties have agreed to the contract). If a person signs a contract and doesn’t perform their obligations, it is considered a breach of contract. That person may be liable for monetary damages.
Contracts are generally outlined in writing but can also be oral (spoken and agreed to) if both parties want it. Because most agreements are established verbally, they are not written down. One of the most critical aspects of business law: accounting
Accounting is the science that records and interprets information about money and assets. The goal of accounting is to reliably measure the financial status of a business or organization so that it will have an accurate picture of its liabilities and assets at any given time.