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The terms “business litigation” and “commercial litigation” are often used interchangeably, but there are some important distinctions between the two. In this guide, let’s focus on differentiating business litigation and commercial litigation to help you understand which type of litigation may be more appropriate for your situation.

What Is Business Litigation?

Business litigation is a type of civil litigation that arises out of disputes between businesses or between businesses and individuals. These disputes can involve contract disputes, breach of fiduciary duty claims, tortious interference claims, and other business-related claims.

Business litigation can be a complex and expensive process, so it is essential to have an experienced business litigation attorney on your side. If you are involved in a business dispute, an experienced attorney can help you understand your rights and options and will work to resolve the dispute in a way that is favorable to you.

There are many different types of business litigation, but some of the most common types of cases involve:

Contract Disputes – This can include disputes over the terms of a contract, the performance of a contract, or the breach of a contract.

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims – This can include claims that a business owner, director, or officer breached their fiduciary duty to the company or other shareholders.

Tortious Interference Claims – This can include claims that a business interfered with another business’s contractual relations or business relations.

Intellectual Property Disputes – This can include disputes over trademarks, copyrights, or trade secrets.

What Is Commercial Litigation?

Commercial litigation is a broad term that covers any legal dispute arising between businesses or between a business and an individual. This can include everything from breach of contract disputes to intellectual property disputes. At its heart, commercial litigation is about protecting your business interests. If you are involved in a commercial dispute, the stakes can be high. Your business may be at risk of losing money, customers, or even its reputation. That is why it is so important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help you protect your interests and fight for a favorable outcome.

There are many different types of commercial disputes that can arise. Some of the most common include:

Breach of Contract Disputes – If one party to a contract fails to live up to their obligations, it can give rise to a breach of contract dispute. These disputes can be complex, and it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you navigate them.

Intellectual Property Disputes – If your business has developed a new product or process, you will want to protect your intellectual property. This can include trademarks, patents, and copyrights. If someone violates your intellectual property rights, it can give rise to a complex legal dispute.

Antitrust Disputes – If your business is involved in a merger or acquisition, you may be subject to antitrust scrutiny. This can lead to a complex legal dispute.

What’s the Difference?

In general, business litigation refers to any legal dispute between two or more businesses. This can include disputes over contracts, property, employment, or any other issue. Commercial litigation, on the other hand, refers specifically to disputes that arise out of the sale of goods or services.

There are a few key differences between these two types of litigation:

  • First, civil courts typically handle business litigation, while commercial courts typically handle commercial litigation. 
  • Second, business litigation tends to be more complex, as it often involves multiple parties and a variety of issues. 
  • Finally, commercial litigation is often faster and less expensive than business litigation, as it is typically less complex and involves fewer parties.


Business litigation and commercial litigation are two distinct but related areas of law. Business litigation refers to legal disputes between businesses, while commercial litigation refers to legal disputes between businesses and consumers. Both types of litigation can involve claims of fraud, breach of contract, and other civil matters.

If you find yourself in a legal dilemma or where it may lead to litigation, you’re going to need the help of a skilled attorney at law in Birmingham, AL. McCallum, Hoaglund & McCallum is here to assist you in all legal matters, whether it’s business torts, construction law, labor, or commercial litigation, among others. We bring you more than 75 years of experience practicing law to help you resolve whatever issues you may have. Reach out to us today and let our attorneys guide you through the legal process.