BAB231 - Introduction to Business Law

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-07-20 11:23:43.754
Last review date 2018-07-20 11:24:03.702

Subject Title
Introduction to Business Law

Subject Description
This course is an introductory survey of the legal issues that frequently arise in a business setting with emphasis on the financial services industry, human resources, and accounting and other professional services. Topics covered may include: the structure and process of Canadian legal and court systems, contracts,the law of torts (particularly negligence and professional responsibility), forms of business organization, agency, professional services, property law (personal, real, and intellectual), banking, the legal aspects of credit, and employment law. The purpose of the course is to enhance the students' decision-making ability with respect to various business transactions, to aid in the legal planning related to business and to help identify, manage and control legal issues that arrise in a business setting having regard to ethical considerations.

Credit Status
One credit.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Discover and analyze the structure and process of the Canadian legal system.

2. Identify and assess examples of contractual and non-contractual liability in business transactions and other related situations.

3. Compile and review key concepts and clauses in business contracts.

4. Demonstrate the importance of legal planning when starting and operating a business.

5. Exhibit an understanding of the relevant legal and statutory provisions related to their industry/sector and appreciate the importance of keeping informed of any changes in this area.6. Evaluate areas of legal risk in a business setting with particular emphasis on contract and negligence law.

7. Apply the methods used in the analysis of legal problems and case studies with particular emphasis on the financial services industry, human resources, and various professions.

8. Integrate analytical skills and logical problem solving techniques through the use of sample problems, case studies, tests, and assignments.

9. Combine theoretical concepts with people skills by working effectively in task oriented teams.

10. Utilize presentation skills together with organizational abilities to create effective group presentations.

11. Employ risk management tools as they would apply in a financial services and human resources settings having regard to ethical considerations.

Information Literacy Learning Outcomes

Information literacy can be defined as the ability to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy. Final Report.(Chicago: American Library Association, 1989.) As information literacy is becoming an increasingly important skill set, six units have been embedded across the eight semesters of curriculum of all business degree programs. These units will ensure that all degree graduates are information literate and that in a variety of career and personal situations are able to:

- Determine the extent of information needed
- Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
- Evaluate information and its sources critically
- Incorporate selected information into one?s knowledge base
- Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
- Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
(Association of College and Research Libraries

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Execute mathematical operations accurately.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

The Legal Environment of Business:
Knowledge of Law as a Business Asset
2 The Canadian Legal System 2
3 Managing Legal Risks
Dispute Resolution
An Introduction to Contracts
Forming Contractual Relationships

5 The Terms of a Contract 7
Non-Enforcement of Contracts 8
7 Termination and Enforcement of Contracts 9
8 Midterm Test

Business Torts:
Introduction to Tort Law

9 The Tort of Negligence 11
Other Torts in a Business Setting 12
11 Structuring Business Activity:
The Agency Relationship
Business Forms and Arrangements

The Corporate Form: Organizational Matters 15
13 The Corporate Form: Operational Matters 16
Final Exam Week  
Please note: This schedule is subject to change.

Mode of Instruction


A combination of teaching methods will be utilized which may include lectures, case studies, discussions, group and individual work.

Prescribed Texts
TITLE: Canadian Business and the Law [with 12 month CourseMate Access]
AUTHOR: Duplessis/Enman/O'Byrne/King
PUBLISHER: Nelson Education 
ISBN: 13: 9780176570323

Reference Material
Guide to Research & Citation: MLA Style. Seneca Libraries. Latest Version. Seneca College.

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation
Modes of Evaluation
Assignments are due on the dates specified. Should extenuating circumstances arise, please contact your instructor prior to the assignment due date so that an appropriate course of action can be established. Late assignments may be subject to a penalty of up to 10% per week and will not generally be accepted beyond two weeks from the due date.

In cases of cheating or plagiarism, the College Academic Policy will prevail. Please ensure that all assignments and reports are properly documented.

Students are referred to the following website for Seneca College Library style guides, Academic Honesty Policy and Copyright guidelines:


Dates for evaluations are specified in the weekly schedule addendum to this outline. The evaluation process may include, but is not limited to, tests, exams, assignments or presentations. Any absences or missed submissions due to medical or other reasons must be supported by medical or other appropriate documentation within one (1) week of the due date. The faculty and program area must be notified immediately in the event of a missed evaluation. Upon acceptance of the documentation, the weighting of the missed deliverable will normally be applied to the final exam.

English Competency

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for success in business. Therefore, you must demonstrate English competency in this subject in both oral and written work. Ensure your written work includes correct sentence structure, spelling and punctuation. Always spell check, edit and proofread your work.

Grading is based on the following marking scheme:


Midterm Test 25%
• Class Participation, Quizzes, and/or Assignments 45%
• Final Exam 30%

  • Learning with cases is a key component to this course. The opportunity to learn by doing and teaching others is central to the case method of learning and requires regular attendance and in-class participation. Students are expected to be prepared for class, attend and contribute to discussions. Class participation is a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and develop skills in verbal presentation, persuasion and debating.
  • Any work not submitted by the assigned date will be subject to penalties.
  • All tests and assignments must meet standards for acceptable English.
  • Cheating and plagiarism are serious offenses and will not be tolerated by the College.
  • Offenses will be handled in accordance with Seneca’s Academic Policy.

Policy on Missed Tests/Presentations and Late Assignments

Dates for tests, quizzes, exams, presentations etc. have been pre-arranged and are non-negotiable. Unless a valid medical note or authenticated letter attesting to a valid reason for an absence is provided, a grade of zero will be assigned on any missed evaluation.
Assignments are due at the beginning of class on the specified date. Late submission of assignments will be subject to a penalty of ten percent (10%) per day and will not be accepted beyond TWO (2) business days after the assignment due date—late assignments will not be accepted, under any circumstance, once the graded assignments have been returned to the class. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that a copy of all assignments is kept.
In the case of acceptable extenuating circumstance, your professor may grant an extension to a due date but such extension requests must be discussed prior to the assignment due date.
English Competency

The ability to communicate effectively is essential for success in business. Therefore, you must demonstrate English competency in this subject in both oral and written work. Strive to be clear and concise. Ensure your written work is consistent with the rules of English grammar, especially in sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation. Always spell check, edit, and proofread your work.

Language Standards

All written assignments will be evaluated for standards of language use in addition to content. Assignments that contain grammatical, spelling, or other errors of language use will be returned to students and a grade of incomplete recorded until the assignment has been brought up to an acceptable standard. A penalty of five percent (5%) will be applied to the grade for the completed assignment.  

Language Across the Curriculum Rubric
 Clear    Confusing  
 Good Detail    Lacks Detail  
 Easy to Follow    Difficult to Follow  
 Answers Question    Evades Question  
Seneca College Library Resources
Be sure to begin all your research, assignment support and career preparation at the Seneca College libraries website where you will find information about our services and collections including, print and e-books, databases that will lead you to thousands of articles in magazines, newspapers, journals, encyclopedias, carefully selected websites, how-to tutorials, streamed videos and much more.

Accounting & Financial Services Subject Guide
Go to for an online customized guide for accounting and financial services students that meets specific program needs – you will find library resources, websites, industry associations and organizations, a business glossary, career sites for accounting and financial services students and more.

For rules on citing your sources, consult Seneca Libraries' online MLA Citation Guide at, or purchase a print copy of the Guide to Research & Citation: MLA Style in the Seneca Bookstore.
Ensure that you do not commit plagiarism. Information on academic honesty, including the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism tutorial is available through the library at:

Program Coordinator
Cynthia Duncan

Approved by: Academic Program Manager - Business Studies Danielle Mercier