Corporate law refers to the rules, regulations and laws that govern a corporation. Corporate law is about the laws and rules that govern how a corporation is formed, its ownership, management and operations.
A corporation is a company or enterprise established under state law for the purpose of conducting a business. The law views a corporation as a separate legal entity, differentiating it from the individuals who run it.
While owners, investors and workers are part of a corporation, the corporation is separate from them in the eye of the law. The corporation itself and be sued, and it is an entity held accountable for its obligations and operations.
What makes a corporation unique is its independence from shareholders. A corporation is different from a business because of the incorporation process.
Incorporation is a legal process whereby a business’ assets are separated from the business owners (shareholders’) assets. Incorporation is the process that defines a corporation as a separate entity before the law.
There are federal and state laws a corporation should abide by and industry-related regulations for a corporation. Corporate law encompasses all the rules and regulations pertaining to a corporation, including state requirements for corporations to hold annual meetings with shareholders.
Corporations are not exempted from the rules, laws and regulations that other businesses must comply with. These rules and regulations include license, employment, tax, contract, privacy, intellectual property rights, and many more.
What is a corporate law firm?
A corporate law firm is a group of legal professionals specialising in corporate law. A corporate lawyer or a law firm represents the corporation, not the business owner or employees.
A corporation hires a corporate law firm to make sure that operations, products, employees, services, and every other thing about the organisation are legal. A corporate law firm has to protect the corporation from litigation.
Usually, large corporations work with a corporate law firm that handles the company’s legal issues and obligations. Small corporations, however, might hire a lawyer with the necessary expertise in a wide array of legal fields as part of their in-house team.
A corporate law firm can offer legal experts in specific corporate fields, such as mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring and insolvency, to ensure that the corporation receives the right legal advice to promote better decision-making and avoid lawsuits and penalties.
What does a corporate law consultant do?
A corporate law consultant is a professional with legal expertise hired to advise a corporation on rights, obligations and laws while making sure that all operations carried out by the business remain legal.
The laws that apply to corporations are diverse and complex. Without the help of a legal professional, it can be difficult for a corporation to understand what these laws entail and comply with them fully.
A corporate law consultant should have extensive knowledge of business laws, operational guidelines and corporate regulations. The consultant needs to have a deep understanding of contract law, employee rights, tax law, privacy law, bankruptcy, and other areas of law that affect a corporation, its legality and operations.
Some of the responsibilities of a corporate law consultant include the following:
- Offering advice on legal issues to clients
- Drafting and reviewing corporate agreements and contracts.
- Offering advice and guidance on how to run the corporation effectively. This includes creating bylaws and educating corporate officers on their rights and responsibilities.
- Helping clients find capital to build or expand the business. This can be done by public or private financing.
- Supervising legal processes, such as listing the company on the stock exchange and overseeing mergers and acquisitions
- Reviewing the corporation’s documents and ensuring that the business complies with the rules and regulations that pertain to it
Sub-categories of Corporate Law
Corporate law encompasses all the rules, regulations, ordinances and rulings that pertain to the establishment and operation of a business. Corporate laws include state and federal rules and regulations that a company must comply with to remain legal and avoid litigation.
Here are the sub-categories of corporate laws:
- Contract Law
A contract is a legal agreement between parties or companies. Contract law is about the responsibilities associated with agreeing to specified stipulations in the contract.
If one party refuses to carry out their responsibility according to the agreed-upon contract, the other party can take the case to court, as courts can enforce contract laws.
The court can approve an injunction on the company that broke the contract to do what they agreed.
- Mergers and Acquisitions
A merger and an acquisition are business terms that refer to when two companies join.
A merger occurs when two companies join to form a new and more significant enterprise, and acquisition refers to when one company buys out another.
Mergers and acquisitions are procedures according to specified laws and regulations to ensure the process is legal.
- Venture Capital
Financing is an integral part of any business, and venture capital involves private equity or investors financing companies and tiny businesses.
- Corporate Governance
This refers to the laws that govern how the corporation or business is operated, and it is about the policies used to manage, operate, control and structure the company.
Business vs Corporate Law
Corporate law refers to laws that govern how a corporate entity is created and operated.
Business law is a broader category. Business law includes several areas of law, such as tax, employment, contract, and commercial transactions. These are areas that pertain to businesses.
Examples of businesses include sole proprietorships, partnerships and limited liability companies. Corporate law is related to business law because a corporation is a type of business.
Thus, some aspects of business law can be found in corporate law.