What is Business Law?
Business Law is a broad practice of law also known as commercial law in which an attorney represents businesses or their interested parties in both legal regulation matters to ensure adherence with state or federal law as well as the laws of contracts. Within business law there are many specific niches that an attorney can focus his or her practice within. Below are some examples of those specific areas of business law.
One of the main areas of business law is contract law. This area of the practice can focus on the drafting or negotiation of contracts between businesses as well as the litigation if a party breaks a contract or seeks to break a contract with another business entity. This is a wide area of practice and most contract law attorneys will specialize within a specific business industry to ensure compliance and full knowledge of the necessary contract terms.
When a business is conducting a transaction with complex laws and regulations it is often advisable to employ a business lawyer. They will make sure to oversee the transaction and ensure that the purchase and terms adhere to all existing regulations and that any liability on the part of the business is accounted for and considered in the purchase.
One aspect of commercial transactions would be mergers and acquisitions in which two businesses merge their enterprises or in which one business purchases another business.
In this regulatory area of the law, attorneys can represent businesses accused of breaking antitrust laws and/or counsel businesses on best practices to ensure compliance with all government antitrust laws. Antitrust laws were created to ensure a level playing field in all industries and seeks to avoid the creation and/or continuance of monopolies within industries. Recent antitrust cases have been taken up against Amazon, Google and Facebook.
When launching a new business, there are several legal hoops that an owner will need to meet in order to fully establish the company. Consulting with a business attorney in this situation will ensure that all legal matters are fully addressed and in compliance with current laws and regulations.
Just as legal counsel is recommended when a business is first forming, it is often necessary when a partnership or other business relationship is severed. Often, when establishing a business, a lawyer will ensure that there are guidelines in place should one of the partners choose (or be forced) to leave the business. If these guidelines are not set out in the business documents or the partners disagree on some aspect of the exit, attorneys may be brought in to mediate or litigate the matter.
Outside General Counsel
A common role business attorneys will take up is as an outside general counsel. This position is usually held for smaller businesses who do not have the capitol to build an internal legal department. In this role, the attorney (or team of attorneys) will act as general counsel for the business. Typically, the attorney or team of attorneys will work with several mid-size businesses in this role. This is a cost-effective solution for mid-size businesses who may be on the precipice of requiring an in-house legal team, but do not yet of the infrastructure to fully setup the department.
For other business lawyers outside of this niche, they typically will be contracted by the general counsel or legal department of a specific business and work directly with the legal department on a contract basis. There are several different relationships that companies can establish with their outside counsel.