In Michigan, commercial law is a body of law that deals with a broad range of business, commerce and consumer transactions. It is considered to be a branch of civil law, and handles both private and public law matters. There are a number of specific commercial fields within this based on specialization.
These fields include but are not limited to:
- Consumer credit
- Debtor and creditor
- Negotiable instruments
- Real estate transactions
- Secured transactions
Definitions and Universal Commercial Code
There are several specific and unique definitions used in commercial law. These include titles such as principal and agent, which is an arrangement in which one entity legally appoints another to act on its behalf. Additionally, other definitions include the carriage by land and sea
merchant shipping; marine, fire, life and accident insurance; guarantee; bills of exchange and partnership.
In addition to these definitions, commercial law also regulates corporate contracts, hiring practices and the production, manufacture and sale of consumer goods. Most countries have adopted some sort of civil code containing comprehensive statements regarding their commercial law. In the United States, commercial law is dictated by both Congress via the interstate commerce clause and individual states through their police powers.
Specific efforts have been made by business and commerce organizations in the United States to create a unified body of commercial law. This has ultimately resulted in the creation of the Uniform Commercial Code, which has been adopted by all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. territories. The code can vary from state to state but it generally follows the thirteen articles covering every faucet of commercial law. Below are the thirteen articles:
Article 1 (General Provisions)
Article 2 (Sales)
Article 2A (Leases)
Article 3 (Negotiable Instruments)
Article 4 (Bank Deposits)
Article 4A (Funds Transfers)
Article 5 (Letters of Credit)
Article 6 (Bulk Sales)
Article 7 (Warehouse Receipts)
Article 8 (Investment Securities)
Article 9 (Secured Transactions)
Article 10 (Effective Date and Repealer)
Article 11 (Effective Date and Transition Provisions)
Importance of Commercial Law
It should go without saying that uniform commercial law is important across not just Michigan but also the country as a whole. This is especially true with the rise and dominance of e-commerce stores and the evolution of retail into the digital age. Uniform commercial laws are of particular importance to stores that sell engineered products that must meet particular government regulations and safety standards such as industrial and commercial supplies, automotive components and building materials. In most cases it is strongly advised for companies to work with an attorney specializing in business law, regardless of whether they are strictly operating within the State of Michigan or crossing state lines as part of their regular operations.