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What Is the Difference Between Corporate and Commercial Law?

There are currently more than 1.1 million practicing lawyers in the US. The world of law is a complicated one. If you need legal assistance, there’s a good chance you need help knowing where to begin. There are different kinds of law, so when you need aid, what type of lawyer will you need to contact? Two of the most well-known types are corporate law and commercial law. You’ve probably heard both terms before but might still need to learn what they mean. Both relate to business, but they’re different.

In this business guide, we’ll cover what corporate and commercial law is and what the difference between the two is. Keep reading for more.

What Is Corporate Law?

Corporate law is also sometimes called company law. The field of law relates to businesses, dealing with things like rights, relations, and business conduct.

It’s mainly based on how companies are governed and controlled. It also focuses on how corporations are structured and how their structure supports the company’s function. Corporate lawyers are highly specialized in this area, making them very valuable to clients.

Some of the things that corporate law often relates to include the launch, maturity, growth, or decline of a business. These changes can significantly impact businesses and the markets and operating landscapes they’re a part of.

There are various activities that businesses engage in to constantly adapt to changes and challenges in the market. This includes things such as:

  • Acquisitions
  • Corporate restructuring
  • Corporate finance
  • Litigation
  • Insolvency
  • Mergers

An Example of a Situation Involving Corporate Law

If a few individuals were setting up a partnership for a new business idea, one of the members may want clarity on how their partners intend to operate within this business. They can contact a corporate lawyer to assist them with the partnership agreement. This would help make the situation clear, and the agreement could help resolve any disputes that arise in the future.

What Is Commercial Law?

Commercial law is sometimes referred to as business law. It still has ties to corporations but in different areas. Rather than focusing on a business itself, it applies to commercial activities that a business takes part in.

These activities can vary, but they’re typically transactional. As such, commercial law often deals with things like contracts and the transfer of property.

Generally, this is when a company is communicating with an outside entity. It covers purchasing and offering physical things like products and impalpable things like patents and innovation rights. It often ensures that the vendor and dealer are paid properly.

For the most part, commercial law follows the UCC (Uniform Commercial Code). It mandates laws relating to offers of products, debatable instruments, lease of goods, and secured exchanges.

The UCC applies in all states, but each state can make alterations. Because of this, it’s important to discuss things with a commercial lawyer, as they’ll have a better understanding of the specific laws in your state.

Commercial law typically covers a wide range of activities. Some typical matters that involve commercial law include:

  • Contract law
  • Property Law
  • Competition law
  • Consumer law
  • Labor law
  • Intellectual property
  • International trade law

An Example of a Situation Involving Commercial Law

Someone owns a software development company and needs some legal work for the business. They want to take on some part-time staff but need an employment contract. On top of this, they’ve developed a new piece of advanced software.

They may want legal assistance to secure a patent for the new software, which is something that a commercial lawyer could assist with. They could also help with generating an employment contract for the new staff.

The Difference Between the Two

At a basic level, the main difference is in terms of how businesses are run and the transactions they make. Corporate law covers governance and regulation, which dictate how a business operates. Commercial law covers any matters that relate to transactions and commercial trading.

Why Hire a Commercial Lawyer or a Corporate Lawyer?

There could be a whole range of reasons why you might want to hire a commercial or corporate lawyer. Within a company, the person most likely to hire either type of lawyer is the person running the business.

As the owner or manager, you’ll oversee most general business operations. With that in mind, no owner is an expert in labor laws, mergers, or business restructuring. If you want to do any of these, hiring a corporate layer can be very beneficial.

They’ll ensure you do everything correctly. This will keep things efficient and prevent any mistakes that could have repercussions.

Similarly, you probably deal with most transactions and other commercial activities, but there will always be things that you don’t fully understand.

If you have any issues with things like contracts, hiring new staff, or international trade, then hiring a commercial lawyer may be the best course of action. They’ll advise and guide you to make sure everything is handled correctly.

Finding a Lawyer

Whatever legal issues you’re having with your business (whether commercial or corporate), you want to make sure you hire a suitable lawyer. Boyer Law Firm practices corporate and commercial law and other areas such as family law, intellectual property, and US immigration. We have offices in Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami, and New York.

If you’re having legal issues, send us a message using our online contact form, or get in touch at (904)236-5317.

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