Corporate and commercial law exists parallel to one another, although it’s relatively common for the two distinct branches to be mentioned as though they are more or less interchangeable.
True, both pertain to the world of business – and both are vital considerations whether a business is just starting up, or backed by decades of global success. Both are constantly evolving, and will impact the day-to-day operations of your business in some capacity.
Below, we look at the differences between the two – and why it’s so important that any business owner understands their significance.
Corporate law covers a long list of concerns, all of which are part of a business’s lifecycle. From formation and incorporation to major, structural changes to the business, such as mergers and acquisitions (or, alternatively, demergers). Corporate law covers aspects like shareholder rights, stipulated in the business’s articles of association, along with investment and raising capital.
As you might expect, corporate law also covers those vital moments at the end of a business’s life, such as liquidation.
Corporate law is a step removed from the everyday workings of the business. The big, momentous milestones in a business’s life fall under its remit, and no business can afford to do without it.
Everything that falls under the remit of corporate law needs to be handled with great caution in order for you to feel sure that the business’s future is secured. That’s why, whether your business is a small start-up or a conglomerate, corporate solicitors are absolutely vital to its ability to move forward, or reach the best end possible.
Contrastingly, commercial law is concerned with aspects that will impact the day-to-day aspect of running a business. From drawing up contracts with suppliers and customers, protecting valuable assets like IP, to branching out into overseas business, commercial law represents the foundations on which all business decisions need to be made.
Many of these areas of commercial law are apt to change. Protecting the business’s intellectual property is incredibly important. From your branding to your product designs, everything that enables you to stand out to your customers is apt to be copied or stolen if you don’t have the proper protections in place. Conversely, there are times when a business can accidentally infringe on another’s IP. In situations like this, it’s vital you have a lawyer on your side to guide you back to safety.
In other words, commercial law is there to protect you on both fronts. A solicitor will work to ensure your interests are secure, and that you are operating on the ‘right side’ when it comes to your dealings with other businesses.
Ultimately, commercial law is an everyday consideration. It’s not concerned with the broad, overarching considerations that corporate law addresses, but that doesn’t make it any less vital to your business’s health. Having a strong law firm by your side – one that sees your business through its growth and development – can be pivotal, and it’s not an expense that any business owner should attempt to circumvent. When the business runs into issues, having that pre-existing relationship could be the ‘make or break’ your business can’t do without.