Chapter 1: Introduction

Sometimes it seems as though we cannot do anything in today’s world without consulting an attorney. Over the past few decades, the law has crept and clawed its way further into our daily lives. Law, in one form or another, permeates modern society, including the business environment, which is subject to numerous laws and regulations at all levels of government—local, state, federal, and in limited circumstances, international. Consequently, today’s businesspersons benefit themselves and their organizations by developing a basic, working knowledge of the law.

Learning the basics of business law includes not only learning some substantive law (a concept that we will discuss later), but also how to spot issues for consideration. In fact, such “issue-spotting” may be the more important of the two. In the business world, we may not always know what the substantive law is; but if we can spot the issue (hopefully before it becomes a problem), we will able to raise it with the appropriate persons within the organization, with outside counsel, or find the answer ourselves. Businesspersons who are adept at issue-spotting are invaluable to their organizations. Issue-spotting is a skill that can, fortunately, be developed. In this book, by learning the basics of business law, we will also be developing our issue-spotting skills.