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Curriculum ForumBusiness Education Standards


Business Law

BUSINESS LAW addresses statutes and regulations affecting businesses, families, and individuals in their related roles. A knowledge of business law is useful for all students, because all students eventually assume roles as citizens, workers, and consumers in their communities and in society at large.

Businesses operate in an increasingly global environment where the laws of different governments and judicial systems might conflict. Thus, business students must include in their academic preparation a basic knowledge of the legal system and how business law impacts commerce in their own country and abroad (i.e., the impact of globalization). They must also understand that state, territory, province, or federal law must sometimes work in conjunction with international law. Each component of the business law standards therefore includes performance expectations related to the laws of different countries. The standards also challenge students to distinguish unethical from illegal behavior and to understand the rising importance of social responsibility as an important aspect of corporations and organizations as global citizens.

By far the most crucial recent changes in business law involve attempts by the courts and the legislature to deal with how technology has impacted the law, particularly with respect to computers and the Internet. Computer law has been added as a separate topic in these standards because of its emerging importance in the workplace. Specifically, this area of the standards addresses

Although the standards related primarily to secondary and postsecondary students, standards for elementary and middle school are also included to give students at those levels a basic understanding of law, the legal system, and what it means to exhibit ethical behavior.

I. Basics of the Law
Achievement Standard: Analyze the relationship between ethics and the law and describe sources of the law, the structure of the court system, different classifications of procedural law, and different classifications of substantive law.

II. Contract Law, Law of Sales, and Consumer Law
Achievement Standard: Analyze the relationships between contract law, law of sales, and consumer law.

III. Agency and Employment
Achievement Standard: Analyze the role and importance of agency law, and employment law as they relate to the conduct of business in the national and international marketplaces.

IV. Business Organizations
Achievement Standard: Describe the major types of business organizations, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies, operating within the socioeconomic arena of the national and international marketplace.

V. Property Law
Achievement Standard: Explain the legal rules that apply to personal property, [and] real property and intellectual property.

VI. Negotiable Instruments, Secured Transactions, Bankruptcy
Achievement Standard: Analyze the functions of negotiable instruments, insurance, secured transactions, and bankruptcy.

VII. Computer Law
Achievement Standard: Explain how advances in computer technology impact such areas as intellectual property, contract law, criminal law, tort law, and international law.

VIII. Environmental Law and Energy Regulation
Achievement Standard: Explain the legal rules that apply to environmental law and energy regulation.

IX. Family Law
Achievement Standard: Explain the legal rules that apply to marriage, divorce, and child custody.

X. Wills and Trusts
Achievement Standard: Determine the appropriateness of wills and trusts in estate planning.

From the National Standards for Business Education © 2007 by the National Business Education Association, 1914 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191.