What Is Business Law & Ethics?
It’s easy to believe that business rules and business ethics are interchangeable. They are not. In the best-case scenario, they need to shadow and complement each other, but that’s not the situation often. Business often takes actions that are legal but not ethical. Understanding what business law and business ethics are will help the variations become clearer.
Business law determines the minimum criteria of behavior expected of companies and single proprietorships. Business ethics exceed simple legality. They explain the way a business should act – how a business does what it is legitimately obligated to do. Ethics are not as much a specific code of conduct because they are values to be upheld and applied.
Business regulation, or commercial regulation, is the physical body of rules that pertain to trade and business, investments and banking, contracts, marketing, and advertising, incorporation and corporate and business structure, and collections and finance. Business law in America is delineated by the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which sets the standards and rules for commercial activity. Every condition has adopted at least part of the UCC. State and federal governments supplement the UCC with other regulations that reflect the individual situations that affect their territories.
Business law determines the minimum requirements of behavior expected of companies and single proprietorships. Enforcement of these laws on a corporate scale generally contains fines charged to the corporation. Individual accountability for corporate crime needs to be proven to took place by the responsible party. For example, an organization may have sold a product it knew was defective, choosing to sell it in any case. Business ethics go beyond simple legality.
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They describe just how a business should act – what sort of business will what it is lawfully obligated to do. Ethics are not as much a particular code of conduct as they are beliefs to be upheld and employed. They will be the nature of the statutory legislation, as opposed to the letter of the statutory laws. This is made to create an environment of personal accountability within the business, where there is none under the law.
Business ethics also form the perspective that the public uses to view a business. Values like honesty, integrity, confidentiality, respect – those are ideals that are a part of business ethics. Due to a few of the Wall Street scandals of the early 2000’s, laws like Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 were put in spot to bring some ethical accountability for corporate financial behavior.