What is the difference between a corporate lawyer and a business lawyer?

The terms “corporate” and “business” seem to go hand in hand, but there’s a difference between corporate law and business law. These practice areas require specialty lawyers and specific experience. How do you know whether to hire a corporate lawyer or a business lawyer? Read on to find out!

Corporate Lawyers

Sometimes, corporate lawyers work directly for specific companies. Other times, corporate law firms are hired by large companies for special purposes or to handle certain transactions. Corporate lawyers often work for larger companies and help write contracts, help with the behind the scenes corporate legal work, and help avoid litigation. Corporate lawyers also often specialize in compliance with local, state, national, and international laws that regulate businesses and transactions.

PCorporate lawyers also handle issues with the size and structure of companies, sometimes helping to set up new businesses, structure partnerships, and corporate mandates./p>

Business Lawyers

Business lawyers, on the other hand, are generalists who provide legal advice on just about all aspects of a business. While the size of a company doesn’t necessarily determine if they need a corporate lawyer or a business lawyer, business lawyers are more commonly retained by small- to medium-sized businesses that need a wide range of services. A business lawyer might help your business navigate copyright or trademark concerns, handle tax issues or work with your CPA to mitigate tax burdens, and review your contracts and employee handbook all in a day’s work!

Business lawyers also help write business plans for potential investors and assist with employment laws.

When to Hire a Corporate Lawyer

Corporate lawyers are sometimes called transactional lawyers – because they handle many issues surrounding the buying and selling of goods in the market and contract law. You might need a corporate lawyer when:

  • Your business is seeking to buy and sell goods internationally
  • Your business needs to negotiate contracts with other businesses or individuals
  • Your business is experiencing issues with a contractual relationship
  • Your business is looking to avoid litigation surrounding legal documents or processes
  • You want to start, buy, sell, or dissolve a corporate entity
  • You or your business needs an airtight contract or agreement drafted
  • You need to attract investors or partners to expand your business
  • You have questions about or need to change your business’s structure
  • You need advice on shareholder rights and obligations
  • You’re looking to mitigate risk in one or more areas of your business

When to Hire a Business Lawyer

As opposed to corporate transactional lawyers, business lawyers provide general legal advice to businesses and represent businesses in legal proceedings and during litigation. That means a business lawyer will not only provide legal advice but also represent you and your business in a courtroom if negotiations or mediation fails. A business lawyer can also advise you and your business on contracts, but the best times to hire a business lawyer is when: ​

  • Your business needs advice or representation in employment disputes
  • Your business wants to avoid employment disputes with employee handbooks and contracts
  • Your business needs advice or representation in tax disputes
  • Your business needs advice on business tax law and tax burden mitigation
  • Your business is being audited or investigated by state or federal authorities
  • You’re planning your business or starting a new business
  • You need advice or representation on patents and other intellectual property
  • Your business is involved in a lawsuit or mediation procedure
  • Your business needs to file a lawsuit or enforce a contract

Call the Davidson Law Firm for Your Business and Corporate Needs

At the Davidson Law Firm, we specialize in business law. Our experienced attorneys serve businesses of all sizes with expert advice and representation in banking, real estate, construction, bankruptcy, intellectual property, small business, tax, and employment law. We offer legal advice to drive your business forward and representation in the courtroom to protect the success you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Contact us today for a consultation and to see how we can meet all of your business law needs.​


  1. Randy Kinney

    Do you handle transaction matters? i need a bill of sales agreement drafted, please respond for more details.

    Randy Kinney

    Randy Kinney
    Kinney construction inc
    560 Wingate Pl
    Mount Sterling, OH 43143

    • John P Martinez

      ICan your office handle equipment sale contract and closing? John

      John P Martinez
      105 S 8th St Brooklyn, NY 11211


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