From the dawn of human civilization, we, human being are directly or indirectly dependent to each other.
For our better living,we created family, then formed group/society, then country andinternational
community. Each individual, each family, each group and each country are dependent on each other by
some means. For the easy exchange of dependency, people introduced business. “Business is defined as
the exchange of goods, services or money for mutual benefit or profit.” (Skinner and
Ivanncevich) The organizations that involve in profit making activities are called business organizations.
Business may be trade, commerce or industry. To make business organized, it must be governed by
some rules and regulations which we call business laws. Each country has independent business laws.
Business organizations must operate within the boundaries of laws and government regulations. Laws
have been developed not only to protect consumers but also to preserve competition.
Government agencies enforce these laws at the federal, state, and local levels. Business firms that do not
comply with the laws face fines and other penalties.
The aim of this assignment is to give a general idea regarding the laws that affect business.
In this assignment I have limited my focus on the laws of Bangladesh that affect business. However, I
have also focused on some of the laws of USA, UK and India those affect business but not yet clearly
mentioned in the laws of Bangladesh.
Definition of Law
“A law is a standard or rule established by a society to govern the behavior of its member.” The Laws of
a country relateto many subjects, e.g., inheritance and transfer of property, relationship between persons,
crime and their punishments, as well as matter relating to industry, trade and commerce.
Definition of Business Law
Business law, also known as commercial law, is the body of law that applies to the rights, relations, and
conduct of persons and businesses engaged in commerce, merchandising, trade, and sales. (Summers and
White, 2000) It is often considered to be a branch of civil law and deals with issues of both private law
and public law.
Commercial law includes within its compass such titles as principal and agent; carriage by land and sea;
merchant shipping;guarantee; marine, fire, life, and accident insurance; bills of exchange and partnership.
It can also be understood to regulate corporate contracts, hiring practices, and the manufacture and sales
of consumer goods. Many countries have adopted civil codes that contain comprehensive statements of
their commercial law.
Laws Affecting Business
It is important for all business owners to know and understand the laws that affect their businesses. It is
equally important to comply with those laws. Ignorance of the laws has never been a valid excuse in any
Court of Law, and it never will be. As a business owner, it is owner’s responsibility to know the
Laws which affect his business
Numerous and varied laws regulate the activities of allbusiness and everyone involved in the business,
from owner to manager to employee. These laws can be discussed in the following categories:
The law of torts
The law of contracts
The law of sales
The law of agency
The law of property
The law of bankruptcy
The law of negotiable instrument
The law of employment
The law of environmental
The law of insurance & liability
The Law of Torts
Tort is the area of law where in response to a private or civil wrong or injury the courts provide the
remedy of allowing a lawsuit for (usually monetary) damages. Thus, the goal is to restore
thevictim to his or her former condition. Tort law is said to be adevelopment of the old maxim “ubi jus ibi
remedium” (Every right needs a remedy). The term tort comes from the Latin word "tortus", meaning
"crooked" or "twisted”. Derived from French for "wrong," a civil wrong or wrongful act, whether
intentional or accidental, from which injury occurs to another. Torts include all negligence cases as well
as intentional wrongs which result in harm.
Therefore tort law is one of the major areas of law (along with contract, real
propertyandcriminal law) and results in more civil litigation than any othercategory. Some intentional tort
s may also be crimes, such asassault, battery, wrongful death, fraud, conversion (a euphemism for theft)
and trespass on property and form the basis for a lawsuit
for damages by the injured party. Defamation, including intentionally telling harmful untruths about
another-either by print or broadcast (libel) or orally (slander)-is a tort and used to be a crime as well.
Definition of Tort
“A tort is a civil wrong for which the remedy is an action for un-liquidated damages and which is not
exclusively the breach of a contract, or the breach of a trust, or the breach of other merely equitable
obligation”- Salmond. Tort is anoncriminal (civil) injury to other persons or their property orreputation;
results from intentional act or negligence. (Skinner and Ivanncevich)
The first reported case where the court used the word “tort” is an old (1597) English case, Boulton v.
Hardy. The term tort is the French equivalent of the English word ‘wrong’and of the Roman law term
‘delict’. The word tort is derived from the Latin word ‘tortum’ which means twisted or crooked or
wrongand is in contrast to the word rectum which means straight.Everyone is expected to behave in a
straightforward manner and when one deviates from this straight path into crooked ways he has
committed a tort. Hence tort is a conduct which is twisted or crooked and not straight. As a technical term
of English law, tort has acquired a special meaning as a species of civil injury or wrong. It was introduced
into the English law by the Norman jurists.
Some General Conditions in Torts
Act and Omission
To constitute a tort there must be a wrongful act, whether of omission or commission, but not such
actsas are beyond human control and as are entertained only inthoughts. An omission is generally not acti
onable but it is soexceptionally. Where there is a duty to act, an omission may create liability. A failure to
rescue a drowning child is not actionable, but it
is so where the child is ones own. A person who voluntarily commences rescue cannot leave it half the
way. A person may be under duty to control natural happenings to his own land so as to prevent them
from encroaching others’ land.
Voluntary and Involuntary Acts
A voluntary act has to be distinguished from an involuntary act because the former may involve liability
and the latter may not. A self will act like an encroachment for business, is voluntary, but an
encroachment for survival may be involuntary. The wrongfulness of the act and the liability for it depends
upon legal appreciation of the surrounding circumstances.
Malice is not essential to the maintenance of an action for tort. It is of two kinds, ‘express malice’ (or
malice in fact or actual malice) and ‘malice in law’ (or implied malice).
The first is what is called malice in common acceptance and means ill will against a person,
the second means a wrongful act done intentionally without just cause or excuse. Where a man has a right
to do an act, it is not possible to make his exercise of such right actionable by alleging or proving that his
motive in the exercise was spite or malice in the popular sense.
Development of the Concept of the Law of Torts
The subject of torts originates in the idea of hurt or damage done by force. The early history of the law of
torts, after its separation from criminal law, is embraced in the history of the action of trespass. Trespasses
early were divided into several distinct actions, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that trespass
was the combination of these several actions. In all of these branches of the action, however, we see
presence of force or violence. The most common view of the history of (common) tort law is that it grew
from those duties imposed uponactions that caused physical harm, regardless of fault, and expanded from
there to determine more refined moral standards of general liability.
The Origin of Law of Tort
It arises largely from common law.
Different states and differentmunicipalities have their own tort standards, although there aresome unifying
concepts. Torts are made up of elements. Thegeneral four elements for any cause of action in tort are:
a. Duty (frequently encountered viz. standard of care analyses)
b. Breach of duty
The Possible Functions of the Law of Tort
a. Tort law can restore the “moral” (occasionally) and “financial” balance offset by the wrong.
b. The above functions best on an individualist level; when several parties are involved, the rationale
begins to get diluted.
a. We want to deter excessively risky activity.
b. Avoid losses that are worth avoiding.
c. This justifies the imposition of a negligence standard in most cases.
d. Naturally, “worth avoiding” is very subjective.
a. Promote the broad distribution of potential losses.
b. “Having a large number of people bear a small loss” is better than the converse.
Essential Elements of a Contract
An agreement becomes enforceable by law when it fulfills certain conditions.
Theseconditions, which may be called the Essential Elements of a Contract, are explained below.
Offer and Acceptance
There must be a lawful offer by one party and a lawful acceptance of the offer by the other party or
parties.b.The adjective “lawful” implies that the offer andacceptance must conform to the rules laid down
in theContract Act regarding offer and acceptance.
Intention to Create Legal Relationship
There must be an intention (among the parties) that the agreement shall result in or create legal relations.
An agreement to dine at a friend’s house is not an agreement intended to create legal relations and is not a
But an agreement to buy and sell goods or anagreement to marry, are agreements intended to create
some legal relationship and are therefore contracts, provided the other essential elements are present.
Subject to certain exceptions, an agreement is legally enforceable only when each of the parties to it gives
something and gets something
An agreement to do something for nothing is usually not enforceable by law. The something given or
obtained is called consideration.
The consideration may be; in act (doing something) or forbearance (not doing something) or a promise to
do or not to do something.
Consideration may be past (something already done or not done).
It may also be present or future: But only those considerations are valid which are “lawful”.
Capacity of Parties
The parties to an agreement must be legally capable of entering into an agreement otherwise it cannot be
enforced by a court of law.
Want of capacity arises from minority, lunacy, idiocy, drunkenness, and similar other factors.
In order to be enforceable, an agreement must be based on the free consent of all the parties.
There is absence of genuine consent if the agreementis induced by coercion, undue influence, mistake,
misrepresentation, and fraud.
A person guilty of coercion, undue influence etc.cannot enforce the agreement. The other party (theaggrie
ved party) can enforce it, subject to rules laid down in the Act.
Legality of the Object
The object for which the agreement has been-entered into must not be illegal, or immoral or opposed to
The agreement must not be vague. It mustbe possible to ascertain the meaning of the agreement, otherwis
e it cannot be enforced.
Possibility of Performance
The agreement must be capable of being performed. A promise to do an impossible thing cannot be
An agreement so made must not have been expressly declared to be void.
Under Contract Act there are five categories of agreements which are expressly declared to be void. They
Agreement in restraint, to marriage
Agreement in restraint of trade
Agreement in restraint of proceedings
Agreements having uncertain meaning
The elements mentioned above must all be present. If anyone of them is absent, the agreement does not
become a contract. An agreement which fulfills all the essential elements is enforceable by law and is
called a contract.
Willfully interfere with or misuse any appliance, convenience or other thing provided in the establishment
for the purpose of securing the health, safety or welfare of the workers therein;
Willfully and without reasonable cause do anything which is likely to endanger himself or other;
Willfully neglect to make use of any appliance or other things provided in the establishment for the
purposes of securing the health or safety of the worker therein.
Conduct Towards Female Workers
Where any female worker is employed in any work of the establishment, irrespective of her rank or status,
no one of that establishment shall be have with the female worker which may seem to be indecent or
repugnant to the modesty or honor of the female worker.
The Law of Environmental
Environmental Law is a complex body of law made up of global, international, national, state and local
statutes, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies which seek to protect the
environment and natural resources affected, impacted or endangered by human activities.
“Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act”
(BECA) is set of laws enacted by thegovernment of Bangladeshin 1995. The Act gives operationaldefiniti
ons of terms that historically did not exist in the legalregime of the country, including ecosystem,
pollution, waste and hazardous substance. Seven areas in Bangladesh are defined as
Ecologically Critical Areas under this law beyond the scope of the Forest Act of 1927 enacted by the
Other major preservation laws enacted by thegovernment of Bangladesh include the Bangladesh wild life
(Preservation) Order of 1973, the Marine Fisheries Ordinance of 1983 and the Brick Burning (Control)
Act of 1989
The Act followed the establishment of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in 1989 and the National
Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP) in 1992, as well as the Forest Policy in 1994 and the
Forestry Master Plan (1993–2012) in 1993. Despite the Act and its supporting laws and policies
theenvironmental degradation of Bangladesh continues principally under the population pressure.
Integrating environment in all development activities and
achieving environmentally sound development planning has immerged as the greatest challenge to the
dominant development paradigms all over the world and becomes a more formidable challenge.
The Law of Insurance & Liability
Insurance Law is the name given to practices of law surrounding insurance, including insurance policies
and claims. It can be broadly broken into three categories –
1. Regulation of the business of insurance;
2. Regulation of the content of insurance policies, especially with regard to consumer policies;
3. Regulation of claim handling. The Insurance Act, 1938 is an act to consolidate and amend
the law relating to the business of insurance.
Every insurer shall be subject to all the provisions of Insurance Act, 1938 in relation to any class of
insurance business so long as his liabilities in Bangladesh in respect of business of that class remain
unsatisfied or not otherwise provided for.
Prohibition of Transaction of Insurance Business by Certain Persons
No person other than-
(a) a public company, or
(b) a society registered under law for the time being in force in
Bangladesh relating to cooperative societies, or
(c) a body corporate incorporated under the law of any country outside
Bangladesh not being of the nature of a private company or a subsidiary of a private company, shall start
any insurance business in Bangladesh and a person, other than a person specified in clause(a), (b) or (c),
who, immediately before the commencement of the
Insurance (Amendment) Ordinance, 1958, was carrying on such business in Bangladesh shall, after the
expiry of one year from such commencement, discontinue such business. No Mutual Insurance Company
which was not registered, before the commencement
of the Insurance (Amendment) Ordinance, 1958, for any class of insurance business, shall be registered fo
r any class of generalinsurance business and no Mutual Insurance Company which was registered, before
such commencement, for any class of insurance business, shall, be registered for any additional class of
insurance business unless such company satisfies such conditions as may be prescribed.
Investment of Assets
Every insurer shall invest and at all times keep invested in the manner provided in sub-section (2) assets
equivalent to not less than the sum of:
the amount of his liabilities to holders of life insurance policies in Bangladesh on account
of matured claims; and
the amount required to meet the liability on policies of life insurance maturing for
payment in Bangladesh less:
I. the amount of premiums which have fallen due to the insurer on such policies but have not been
paid and the days of grace for payment of which have not expired, and
II. any amount due to the insurer for loans granted on and within the surrender values of policies of
life insurance maturing for payment in Bangladesh issued by him or by an insurer whose business
he has acquired and in respect of which he has assumed liability, provided that where an insurer
has accepted reassurance in respect of any policies of life insurance issued by another insurer and
maturing for payment in Bangladesh or has ceded reassurance to another
insurer in respect of any such policies issued by
himself, the said sum shall be increased by theamount of the liability involved in such acceptance
and decreased by the amount of liability involved in such cession, provided further that the said
sum shall not be decreased by the amount of any liability in respect of any reinsurances ceded to
an insurer not registered in Bangladesh for life insurance business except to the extent of the
amount of the liability incurred up to the 31st December, 1957.
Insurance at all, because many falsely believe they can't affordcoverage. The truth is a small business
can't afford not to have adequate insurance. Without insurance, one is unnecessarily putting his livelihood
at risk. That's also why many landlords, suppliers,
andother entities we work with will probably require us to havecoverage.
Below are some of the different types of insurance small businesses use.
Insurance for Business
Business Owner's Policy
General Liability Insurance
Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions) Insurance
Commercial Automobile Insurance
Business Income/Extra Expense Insurance
Product Liability Insurance
Extra Equipment Insurance
Specialized Equipment Insurance
Insurance for Owner and Employees
Key man Insurance
Workers' Compensation Insurance
The topic of this assignment is very vast. It is very difficult to describe all the aspects of the ‘Laws
Affecting Business’ in detail within 40 to 50 pages. But, I have tried to give a general idea on numerous
and varied laws those regulate the activities of all business and everyone involved in the business taking
reference mainly from the existing laws of Bangladesh. I divided these laws in ten categories for
easy understanding. Some of these categories are not clearly mentioned in our country law. In such cases,
I took reference from the existing laws of United States, United Kingdom and India.
In preparing my assignment, I took help from differentbooks and online sources which are given at the en
d of thisassignment. For detail study, reference can be taken from those books and web pages.
Different laws affecting business in Bangladesh are established in our country through different Acts,
Penal Code, Civil Procedure Code, Criminal Procedure Code, etc. But in many sectors, effective
implementations are not yet achieved. This is because of our lack of knowledge and cultural & ethical
behavior. Considering sufferings related to business as part of our life and society.
Suddenly we cannot get rid of from all these sufferings.Clear knowledge of each individual in their respec
tive field, dedication, sincerity and above all ethics & honesty will allow us to get the benefits from the
laws that affect business.
o Bangladesh Bankruptcy Act, 1997. Bangladesh Govt.
o Bangladesh Contract Act, 1872. Bangladesh Govt.
o Bangladesh Labour Act, 2006. Bangladesh Govt.Basu, Durga D. (1979)
o The Law of Torts 9th
ed. Calcutta: Kamal LawHouse. Jhabvala, Noshirvan H. (2008)
o The Law of Torts. 25thed. Mumbai: C Jamnadas and Co.
o The Law of Torts. 24thed. Nagpur:Wadhwa and Company.
o Sale of Goods Act, 1930 (Bangladesh). Bangladesh Govt.Skinner, Steven J. and Ivanncevich,
John M. (1992)
o Business for the 21st
Century. Missouri: Von Hoffmann Press, Inc.
Summers, Robert and White, James (2000)
o The Bangladesh Environment Conservation Act, 1995. Bangladesh Govt.
o The Companies Act (Bangladesh), 1994. Bangladesh Govt. Bangladesh Ministry of Law (1881)