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Is There a Difference Between Business Litigation and Commercial Litigation?

Written on March 26, 2020

Many in the corporate world use the terms interchangeably, but there are very specific differences between business litigation and commercial litigation. It’s true that they both involve court action and there is some overlap in the general legal concepts. However, there are important distinctions you need to understand as a Florida business owner, whether you’re pursuing a lawsuit or defending against one. Of course, you want to rely on your attorney for the details, which brings up another important point: You’ll need to retain a Clearwater litigation lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to protect your interests in both.

As an overview, you may find it useful to check out some general information on how business and commercial lawsuits are different. 

Business Litigation Encompasses a Range of Operational Issues: This type of lawsuit centers on the federal and state laws involved with setting up and running a company, most notably the Florida Business Corporations Act. Litigation arising under this statute may be regulatory in nature, in which case the other party might be a state governmental body. However, the Act also covers disputes among directors and shareholders in connection with your company’s Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, distributions, and other operational issues. Therefore, a business lawsuit matter could involve the company and stakeholders as parties.

In addition, business litigation also encompasses:

  • Compliance with wage and hour regulations;
  • Workers’ compensation;
  • Lawsuits arising under insurance policies;
  • Employment issues, such as harassment, discrimination, and wrongful discharge;
  • State and federal tax laws;
  • Environmental requirements;
  • Workplace safety regulations;
  • Whistleblower complaints;
  • Breach of fiduciary duty; and,
  • Many other topics.

 Commercial Litigation Focuses on Contracts and Transactions: Lawsuits in this category are derived from the term “commerce,” so they focus on any disputes or issues arising out of trade – buying, selling, providing services, and related transactions. The key statute is the Florida Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), which governs contracts involving:

  • The sale of goods;
  • Leases;
  • Secured transactions; and,
  • Commercial paper.

In common law, there are basic requirements for contracts, including offer, acceptance, and consideration. The UCC imposes additional, sometimes overlapping requirements when the contract involves a topic that the law covers. For instance, a contract for the sale of goods in excess of $500 is unenforceable unless there’s a writing that indicates an agreement was made between parties who meet the definition of “merchants.” Plus, in the event that the seller or buyer breaches, the UCC provides for alternatives to litigation. For instance, a seller can withhold delivery of the goods or a buyer can revoke acceptance of noncomplying goods.

Retain a Clearwater, FL Business Litigation Attorney for Legal Assistance

Though there are key differences between business and commercial litigation, the two types of actions share a common element: It’s essential for company owners to rely upon experienced, knowledgeable legal counsel as soon as a lawsuit becomes imminent. Our team at  Clearwater Business Law advises stakeholders on how to protect their interests and comply with fluctuating regulatory landscape, so please call (727) 785-5100 to set up a consultation. We handle both business and commercial lawsuits throughout Pinellas County, so we’re prepared to fight for your company.


I strongly endorse Andrew Mongelluzzi. He is a very skilled and able business attorney focused on customer service and results. On the front end, Andrew deftly advises new businesses on organizing properly, acquiring necessary licenses, contracting with vendors & customers, and dealing with various compliance issues that may arise. On the back end when things go south, Andrew counsels and navigates businesses through complex commercial disputes and aggressively represents them in negotiations, mediation, arbitration, and in litigation so that businesses can legally move on and get back to business. Andrew’s ability to identify legal issues and approaches to resolve business-related issues is a strength that I have learned from and professionally relied upon in approaching the business matters and cases that I handle. I regularly refer business to Andrew knowing that he will diligently represent his business clients and their best interests.
Relationship: worked together on matter

- Frank N. Genco, Florida Bar No. 440086

Attorney Mongelluzzi and his team provided excellent and quality service. I always felt that my needs were met and that the firm was invested in me and my case. The quality services I received at Mongelluzzi’s firm were remarkable. From the initial meeting they were responsive to my calls, questions and concerns. All issues were handled professionally and timely, easily accessible, got back to me quickly, aggressive and got me the results that I wanted. Attorney Mongelluzzi and his staff all gave my case their personal attention and provided the quality of work that anyone would want when hiring an attorney.

- Client

Andrew is very thorough defining the outcome expectations. In my case, it was setting up a new corporate entity. He advised me on the most beneficial option and he then executed on that path. Andrew is a very pleasant person to work with. He is determined, skilled and committed to his client’s success.

- Gil Pinney

Andrew helped me through a difficult situation with American Express and we won the case. A great job by Andrew! He also helped me with T&C’s in my company. I would recommend Andrew highly as an attorney.

- John Sams

As a business owner for 12 years I have seen my fair share of ups and downs. Some of the downs would include landlord/tenant disputes and creditors that may have not been fulfilled to agreement. Andrew has met both of these situations for me in a timely, positive, and affordable manner.

- Rich Mattes

It was very nice to have a lawyer who not only is fierce in negotiations but has been successful in business. This is a lethal combination. I was glad he was on my side.

- Nigel Castanheiro

Andrew helped me with a contract litigation case. The lawyers battled it out for over a year and we finally got a reasonable settlement offer. Then the other side tried to back out. Andrew figured out how to force the other side to honor the deal and really knows his way around the court system. Definitely feel comfortable using him again.

- John Ellis


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