Business Entities, Legal Personhood, and You

Many people think of their business as an extension of themselves.  In some respects, that is true. You can be the face of your business. Your clients or customers get to know you, trust you, and rely on you. You can determine what principles your business stands for (think “We proudly support our local economy and only sell products Made in the U.S.A.,” or “We only sell Fair Trade Certified chocolate.”)  It is up to you to decide what your business does, and hopefully that is something you yourself are passionate about.

Where businesses are distinct from their founders, owners, investors or employees, is when it comes to the law.  Businesses take on a legal identity that, in most cases, is distinct from the legal identity of the founders, owners, investors or employees.  This means that when a customer does business with a company they are doing business with the company, not necessarily the owner of the business; you may stand behind the deal your company makes, but that deal is between the customer and the company (in most instances, but we’ll get to that later). The business can’t function without you and your employees, but it has a separate and distinct existence under the law.

Since these business entities are not actual people they cannot do things for themselves.  They require actual people to act on their behalf, and these people become agents of the business.  Agents can act on behalf of the business, but they also have responsibilities and owe certain duties to the person or business on whose behalf they are acting.  The following articles will cover some of the basics of an agent’s responsibilities, powers, and duties.

Agency Law in a nutshell

© 2016 John V. Robinson, P.C.