This paper will define the functions and roles of law in both business and society. Giving examples of such relationships from past and future experiences from the author pertaining to current and past job or industry. While it is beyond the scope of this research paper to do a complete analysis of all the laws and functions pertaining to business and society we will cast a broader look at the significant points that can add value to the paper.
Functions of Law in Business and Society
The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives a definition of law as “a rule of conduct or action prescribed or formally recognized as binding or enforced by a controlling authority” (Mirriam-Webster, 2012), thus we infer that the controlling authority in the context of this paper is either the federal or state government and its lower portions in the legal community. It is important to mention that most of the positions in the federal and state legal division of government are either officials that have been elected by citizens of the United States of America (i.e. District Attorneys, Judges, etc.) or qualified candidates that have the appropriate qualifications to meet the criteria as defined by job descriptions (i.e. board certified lawyers, trained investigators, etc.).
Concerning the legal system in the United States of America (US), the main function of law is stated from the textbook, Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-commerce Environment, 13th Edition (Mallor, et al, 2007, p. 11), the most important functions of law include the following:
2. Checking government power and promoting personal freedom.
3. Facilitating planning and the realization of reasonable expectations.
4. Promoting economic growth through free competition.
5. Promoting social justice.
6. Protecting the environment.
While we have put to paper the functions of law, they have different roles for business and society. The needs of business laws are seen differently from the perspective of owners and the process of litigation Functions of law in the context of societies perspective are limited to the outside of business law. While one law can be applied to both business and society how they are interpreted can be different and usually is.
Role of Law in Business
The current status of business law is a complicated labyrinth of state, federal and municipal statutes that work together to ensure predictability and fairness. The overall purpose of business laws include an assurance of fairness, encourage competition through the protection of property rights and ensures that all parties involved understands their obligations and duties while doing business transactions. While the complexity of business laws in the US are daunting, at best, but the effort to create an equitable business community has established laws that lets a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation do transactions in a common level. As a capitalist society we view the right to private ownership is a corner stone of our communities. From entrepreneurs to generations old businesses we view the laws of business in the US as the assurance a business needs to be able to succeed.
Roles of Law in Society
There are certain roles that law imposes within our society to be able to function in an equitable manner. Maintaining social control is an important part of the laws, making sure that we can maintain a regulated community that does not recognize anarchy. Through this social control we also maintain and protect public order. Without out we can’t maintain a civilized society.
An equitable law helps us to resolve disputes in an orderly manner while also facilitating changes that are inevitable as society changes. Within these changes one of the roles of law in society is bringing justice to our communities. Through an established system, laws can dispassionately produce justice in fair and predictable manners.
Author Experience of Business Law
As a freelance website designer and developer, including Internet marketing, laws pertaining to the world wide web have been fought about and are still in the infant stages. The Internet is a multi-national entity, transcending boundary lines that are not clearly mark as it is. There is no physicality to where the Internet can be maintained and the creators made it that way on purpose.
An example of new laws fought over and established in the US is state taxes. States in the US were losing tax revenue as customers where not buying products locally and using sites like Ebay and Amazon to procure products in-state, but not paying taxes. Eventually state laws established who should pay state taxes on purchases, developers had to start developing new systems within the electronic commerce (ecommerce) systems to be able to accept state specific tax withholdings within their payment system. The law had to be revised to make it equitable within businesses that sold products in a brick and mortar environment and businesses that sold their products in the world wide web.
Mallor, J., Barnes, A., Bowers, L., & Langvardt, A. (2004). Business Law: The Ethical, Global, and E-commerce Environment, 13th Edition. Retrieved on October 8, 2012, from University of Phoenix Resource.
Law – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved Oct 08, 2012, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/law
Sean, M. (2011). The Legal Environment of Business: A Managerial Approach. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.