Introduction to Law

Business law, also called commercial law or mercantile law, the body of rules, whether by convention, agreement, or national or international legislation, governing the dealings between persons in commercial matters.

Business law falls into two distinctive areas: (1) the regulation of commercial entities by the laws of company, partnership, agency, and bankruptcy and (2) the regulation of commercial transactions by the laws of contract and related fields.

In civil-law countries, company law consists of statute law; in common-law countries it consists partly of the ordinary rules of common law and equity and partly statute law. Two fundamental legal concepts underlie the whole of company law: the concept of legal personality and the theory of limited liability. Nearly all statutory rules are intended to protect either creditors or investors.

There are various forms of legal business entities ranging from the sole trader, who alone bears the risk and responsibility of running a business, taking the profits, but as such not forming any association in law and thus not regulated by special rules of law, to the registered company with limited liability and to multinational corporations. In a partnership, members “associate,” forming collectively an association in which they all participate in management and sharing profits, bearing the liability for the firm’s debts and being sued jointly and severally in relation to the firm’s contracts or tortious acts. All partners are agents for each other and as such are in a fiduciary relationship with one another.

An agent is a person who is employed to bring his principal into contractual relations with third parties. Various forms of agency, regulated by law, exist: universal, where an agent is appointed to handle all the affairs of his principal; general, where an agent has authority to represent his principal in all business of a certain kind; and special, where an agent is appointed for a particular purpose and given only limited powers. Appointment may be express or implied and may be terminated by acts of the parties; the death, bankruptcy, or insanity of either the principal or agent; frustration; or intervening illegality.

Sources of law

To be continued from the notes…..

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