Corporate law is law which is specifically oriented on the legal properties, rights, and responsibilities of corporations. Corporate law is held by almost every major nation in the world, and often must span international boundaries in order to adequately deal with international corporations.
Corporate law includes sections on all of the important entities within a corporation, including shareholders and employees. Corporate law, for example, would set out defaults concerning what happens in the dissolution of a corporation in terms of liability for the employees and shareholders of a corporation.
By default, corporate law sets out shareholders as holding limited liability towards the corporation, meaning that if the corporation does wind up with tremendous debts which it cannot pay, the shareholders will not be held responsible for those debts. Furthermore, employees are protected under corporate law from the debts, though if a corporation does go under, they will lose their jobs.
Corporate law also concerns the fashion in which shares of a company may be bought or exchanged, and it concerns the control mechanisms for corporations, specifically in terms of Boards of Directors and how they may function. This last section of corporate law is known as corporate governance. Corporate governance is particularly significant in keeping corporations honest.
Under basic corporate law, the shareholders and employees elect a Board of Directors, who then make decisions for the corporation as a whole. The exact rules governing these elections and the powers of the Board of Directors are important for the overall functioning of a corporation.