After deciding on the name Business Transactions for my new blog, I began to ponder the exact meaning of the term. How narrowly or broadly should “business transaction” be defined?
I label myself as a business transactional lawyer but quite frankly, it’s not unusual for me to find myself on the receiving end of a blank stare when I describe my work in that manner. Not wanting to be pegged as someone who speaks in a gobbledygook comprehensible only to other lawyers, I’ll gaze into the blank stare for a few moments and then offer “I write contracts”. Ahh. Instant understanding, for the concept of contracts and contractual agreements is a universal one. Yet, while it’s true that I spend significant time working on contracts, defining “business transactions law” as “writing contracts” seems incomplete.
I turned to one of my favorite dictionaries for its
definition of transaction: “Act of transacting or conducting any
business; negotiation; management; proceeding. . . It
may involve selling, leasing, borrowing, mortgaging or lending. . . It is a
broader term than contract. . .” From
that definition, I can say that as a business transactional lawyer, I provide
legal advice and assistance to entrepreneurs and companies as they . . .
- form corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships;
- hire employees and independent contractors;
- purchase and sell businesses;
- merge with other businesses;
- sell equity to outside investors;
- enter joint ventures and work with strategic partners;
- license, sell, acquire, and protect copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property assets;
- resolve conflicts before they explode into lawsuits; and
- engage in other activities relevant to their business.
That's a much more complete and satisfying (to me, anyway) explanation of what I do on a daily basis!