Nov 30, 2016

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What’s the difference between contract and commercial law? | FAQs

Understanding the differences between contract law and commercial law is important for the success of any organisation and for you professionally if you’re seeking a career in commerical law or contract law.

Learn from Melanie Louw, the Head Tutor on the University of Cape Town Contract and Commercial Law online short course, as she explains the differences between these two types of business law contracts.

If you’re seeking a career in law of contracts, you’ll find yourself exposed to both contract law and commercial law. Commercial law refers to the umbrella under which you can find contract law. Commercial law refers to any legislation that pertains to merchants exchanging goods and services and dealing with any transactions between buyer and seller. Contract law is a subdivision of commercial law, or a silo of the overarching umbrella. Other subdivisions of commercial law include things like labour law. Contract law under commercial law refers to any contract entered into during a business transaction – this can be the buying and selling of a product or service for example.

If you want to expand your career in commercial law or if you want to know about the ways commercial and contract law might be affecting your business you need to upskill. One sure-fire way to do this is to invest your time in courses in contract management.


Contract law is an aspect, or an element, or a subdivision of commercial law. See commercial law as the big umbrella and contract law as a specific element or silo under that umbrella. Commercial law could encompass other areas as well. So, for example, labour law would also fall under commercial law. That would be one specific area, such as contract law.

Filed under: Law