Acts of commerce


The trade is one of the main activities within the area of the economy oldest of humanity. Through it, people have managed to establish the exchange of goods , values and services , which satisfy the needs of a consumer and which also report an economic return for the people who sell or market them.

What are acts of commerce?

Trade acts are any action that a person or a company performs by means of which it manages to make the purchase of a good or a service by paying a sum of money that has been agreed by the person who sells the product .

  • Definition
  • Characteristics of commercial acts
  • Elements
  • Classification of commercial acts
  • goals
  • Regulations by country
  • Importance of acts of commerce
  • Examples


The act of commerce refers to the acquisition by means of a payment , of a product or of the rights over that product to obtain a later profit . This concept can be applied to movable things , that is, all things that can be mobilized without their structure changing.


Characteristics of commercial acts

Among its main characteristics we mention the following:

  • The act of commerce is mediated , which is the commercial activity carried out by people with the aim of exchanging goods and services in the market.
  • It has change and exchange .
  • The act of commerce is tied to profit or profit .
  • Their purpose is to circulate wealth .
  • They are aimed at the exchangeable value of things.


There are three elements that trade acts have and these are:

  • The consent of the person who executes it.
  • The object on which the act of commerce falls.
  • The cause of the act of commerce, in other words its purpose.

Classification of commercial acts

Commercial acts are classified as follows:

  • Objective acts of commerce: they  are called objectives, because they are sufficient in themselves, and do not need to resort to other elements of judgment to determine them. Objective acts are acts of a commercial nature independent of the subject who performs them or of the purpose to which they are directed or of the particular manner of their exercise or of the relationship to which they are subordinate .
  • Subjective trade acts : subjective  acts are acts whose commercial nature results from the manner of their exercise , and acts that are commercial because of another act that is the main one. They are subjective acts of commerce because the trader quality of the intervening party is taken into account for their determination . They are acts mainly of a civil nature, related to the family and the state .
  • Mixed trade acts : trade  acts can be objective, as determined by law , and subjective, by extensive and analogical interpretation . This is the case of life insurance, which is an act of commerce for the insurance company but not for the insured, even if he is a merchant, because life cannot be seen as an object of commerce. In other words, they are acts of commerce for traders but not for people who are not. For this reason, it can coexist in the act of commerce, the dual and civil nature that is endorsed in the law and for this reason is called an act of mixed commerce.


The main objectives of the commercial acts are the following:

  • Distinguish between cases that are included within commercial law and those of the civil branch.
  • Intervene in the production of goods and services that people need in order to develop.

Regulations by country

All countries have different regulations for trade acts, here are some of them:

  • Chile : its Commercial Code indicates that the commercial acts include merchants who carry out commercial operations , persons who contract with other non-merchants for the fulfillment of commercial obligations and persons who are exclusively dedicated to the commercial area .
  • Colombia : they are established as the acts that determine whether a legal business is of a civil or commercial nature , and does not focus on the quality of the person. The acts of commerce are regulated by relationships that produce profit .
  • Spain : they are defined as those that are carried out to obtain profits and produce monetary wealth and of any kind, and for this they use commercial law that structures the organization of trade and sets the rules that are responsible for regulating the differentcommercial activities .
  • Argentina : the existing statements regarding commercial acts are found in the Commercial Code of the Republic and are listed in a non-exhaustive way through ten different paragraphs, using the objective criterion , and include material goods, rights over them. , merchant salaries and other points of interest.

Importance of acts of commerce

It is important to know and distinguish when an act is or is not a commercial act, especially with regard to the applicable legislation . If they are, then the commercial acts will be regulated by means of commercial or commercial law , and if they are not, then the civil norms that the State has will apply to them .

Knowing them , you can apply correctly the rules of applicable background , evidence of acts or legal transactions , can clarify the quality that has a merchant , the ability of running acts, you can apply some taxes to acts and judicial jurisdiction is given .


Some of the most recognized examples of acts of commerce are the following:

  • Acquisition for home purchase .
  • Buying cars .
  • Purchase of shares within a company.
  • Sale of shares after having bought them at lower prices.
  • Real estate rentals .
  • Rental of suits , for example, bridal gowns and graduation dresses.
  • Operations that are carried out in the bank and that are basic, such as opening accounts, time deposits.
  • The purchase and sale of items such as furniture, for the home, appliances, etc.
  • Maintenance services for household appliances.
  • Acquisition of electronic devices , cell phones, televisions, kitchens, etc.
  • Sales of land .
  • Rental of premises

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