Commercial law is complex. Just like there are different branches of family law, there are several different branches of commercial law.
While we can’t go into the nitty gritty with every single branch, this article will give you a high-level view and understanding of each branch.
Contract law, as you would expect, pertains to the legal aspects of business contracts. Because a business contract can make or break the success of a business, it’s vital that both parties are protected.
The contract law attorney may step in at several places in the contract process
- Consulting their client on what they can/can’t do
- Reviewing an existing contract
- Work with a client who has been wronged to advise on what can be done
- Take the case of either the defendant or plaintiff
The second branch of commercial law is around property. Typically when people think of a real estate attorney, they’re thinking of what’s involved with buying or selling a property. They may also think of an attorney regarding a lease, or if one party is transferring the property to another.
But there are other places where an attorney can get involved with property, such as movable property.
This branch of commercial law ties into our recent blog post on choosing the best legal structure for your business. While that article mainly discusses the beginning aspect of corporations – setting them up – there are other things covered under this branch of the law.
For example, there are laws around how corporations can be managed and how they need to be dissolved. There are also laws around other aspects of corporations such as
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Selling shares
- Raising venture capital
- Electing board members
- Redemption of stock
- And more
While you could try to decipher it yourself by looking at the California corporate law yourself, we always recommend working with an attorney.
Commercial Tax Law
This area is focused on the government’s tax levy on business transactions. Just like you have to pay taxes when you buy something at the grocery store, businesses have to pay taxes on their transactions as well.
Tax law comes into play with a variety of transactions, from sales to gifts and operating income to capital gains.
Business Regulation Law
How would you like for your kids to go to a school that didn’t have any kind of rules in place? Most of us don’t like the idea. Rules are important in our schools to help keep the kids (and staff) in line so everyone can learn in the best environment possible.
Businesses, like schools, also have rules they have to follow. While they probably have their own internal rules and guidelines, they also have rules issued to them by the law. Business regulation law is the commercial branch that speaks to these rules.
Intellectual Property Law
Often called “IP”, intellectual property is the law that envelops trademarks, copyrights, and other legal protection of creative assets.
Businesses may choose to trademark or copyright a variety of things. Catch phrases, images, brand logos, and brand names are the most common.
It’s also common for businesses to file for a patent on new technology. This gives them ownership of the technology until the patent expires. During that ownership period, they may choose to either use it exclusively or license it out to other businesses for a fee.
Uniform Commercial Code
Last but not least, this is essentially trying to keep all commercial laws across the United States in line.
Do you have a specific question about the branches of commercial law? Or is there something your business needs help with? We’re here to help. Just give us a call at 714.456.9118 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be in touch soon.