Mercantile law

Mercantile law is an assemblage of customs and practices governing a broad range of business practices at the local, country, and international levels. In general, mercantile law sets forth the rights, responsibilities, and liabilities of the parties involved in business events. Among other areas, mercantile law addresses the following topics:

  • Contracts
  • Copyrights
  • Franchising
  • Insurance
  • Licensing
  • Patents
  • Transport of goods

In short, mercantile law involves all aspects of buying and selling between parties, and so knowledge of it is a requirement for those designing business contracts.

Mercantile law is designed to provide guidelines for how to deal with each of the preceding types of business transactions. It also provides for considerable standardization of the legal underpinnings of business transactions, which is useful for establishing consistency in how legal disputes are resolved. With a high level of consistency in case resolution, the parties to a dispute have a reasonable expectation regarding how the dispute will be settled.

Mercantile law was created in Europe to deal with interactions between merchants, and continues to change over time due to legislative changes, case law, and long-term trends in usage.

The version of mercantile law in the United States is known as the Uniform Commercial Code.

Similar Terms

Mercantile law is also known as commercial law.