commercial law

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Commercial law is the broad area of law that covers virtually all business, commerce, and consumer transactions. Historically, the term commercial law tends to emphasize merchant relations with consumers or broader trade, but the term frequently is used to refer to any law that addresses business, including law protecting consumers. Given it's breadth, commercial law is made up of numerous categories of law, including:

  • Banking
  • Consumer credit
  • Contracts
  • Corporate Law
  • Debtor and creditor
  • Intellectual Property
  • Landlord-tenant
  • Mortgages
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Real estate transactions
  • Sales
  • Secured transactions

Commercial law is a conglomeration of numerous federal, state, and international laws. One of the biggest commercial agreements is the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been substantially adopted as statutory law in nearly every state, governs numerous areas of commercial law, such as sales and leases. On the international level, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) form the backbone of the sales of goods across the world. 

See also: Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)

[Last updated in April of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]