Business Law and Entrepreneurship: US and EU

Prague, Czech Republic
Study Center
Course Syllabus
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Business Law and Entrepreneurship: U.S. and EU
Course Description
This course will highlight the critical legal issues that entrepreneurs face as they create and
launch a business in a foreign jurisdiction. Its goal is to develop a basic understanding of the
legal concepts that are an integral part of decision making from the time an entrepreneur
conceives the “million dollar idea” to operation of the new business.
More specifically, this course will investigate the essential features of business law with a
comparative emphasis on U.S. and European law, including civil/private law, tort law, contract
law, company law, intellectual property law and other relevant business law issues involved in
international business transactions.
No prior legal training is assumed. Class discussions will be based on real world cases and
supplementary materials such as excerpts from relevant statutes and regulations, court
decisions and current news reports and analysis.
Learning Objectives
To gain a general legal foundation of business that will enable students to comprehend
the link between law and business
To identify the relevant laws/agencies that regulate business/commerce
To critically assess/analyze laws and court cases related to business/commerce
To identify the risks and solve problems associated with business/commerce
To understand the legal procedures and restrictions involved in business/commerce
To develop strategies for ensuring favorable jurisdiction and resolution of disputes
relevant to international business transactions
To develop persuasive communication skills by focusing on the audience’s
goals/needs/objectives/concerns/barriers/areas of confusion/misunderstanding
Course Prerequisites
Methods of Instruction
The lectures will incorporate theories and hypothetical case examples. Classroom activitoes will
consist of lectures, student interaction, discussion, and problem-solving exercises. Regular
attendance and preparation of assigned material will be required.
Course Requirements
Attendance and Participation
Students will be required to contribute to the class discussion, including demonstrating a
working knowledge of the materials, cases, and statutes assigned for the particular day. All
students will be required to use a laptop or tablet computer, however if not possible, students
will need to download and print the materials that are provided on the CIEE online course site.
Midterm Examination
The midterm examination will test the students’ ability to apply business law related materials,
cases and statutes that were presented during the semester to real-life fact patterns, while also
demonstrating their knowledge of the current business-related issues that may apply when
conducting business in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction.
Business Law Project
This project will require the student to create a basic business plan that is designed to give the
students an opportunity to apply the business law and concepts covered in the course, and to
demonstrate their ability to identify the relevant legal requirements that must be completed
before business can be commenced in a domestic or foreign jurisdiction. 60% tests the quality
of writing, grammar, and structure, citing sources, and following directions. 40% tests the
quality of a 10-minute oral presentation, including creativity, professionalism, and identifying
the relevant issues and laws that apply to the particular business.
Assessment and Final Grade
Attendance and Participation 20% of final grade
Midterm Examination 40% of final grade.
Business Law Project 40% of final grade
CIEE Grade Scale
CIEE Prague Attendance Policy
At CIEE, professors record attendance online, and CIEE staff takes care of any possible excuses
from absences. Professors do not excuse absences.
An absence can be excused only for medical reasons or other extraordinary situations. If a
student is sick, s/he must visit a doctor and get an official note from the doctor. The student
then submits that note to the CIEE Student Services Assistant to get the absence excused. For
other extraordinary situations, the student must meet with the Academic Director to request an
Students get two allowed unexcused absences for each course for the whole semester program.
This assumes a course schedule of two 90-minute meetings per week, so if the course meets in
one longer block, missing the class constitutes two absences. These allowed unexcused
absences should be used for situations such as when one is not seriously sick and does not want
to see a doctor or has some personal situation that prevents the student from attending class.
Allowed unexcused absences should not be used in a planned way for travel or other
extracurricular events.
Each unexcused absence after the two allowed causes the semester grade to be lowered by 5
points (on a 100-point scale). Students with 6 or more unexcused absences will automatically
fail the course. This is a CIEE rule that applies to all CIEE courses.
CIEE staff update the Moodle attendance for each course according to doctor’s notes submitted
on a weekly basis. Students can and should check their attendance on the Moodle course sites
throughout the semester to make sure it is correct. Students with excessive absences will be
notified and the student’s study abroad advisor will also be notified.
CIEE Academic Honesty Statement
Presenting work of another person as one’s own, failure to acknowledge all sources used, using
unauthorized assistance on exams, submitting the same paper in two classes, or submitting
work one has already received credit for at another institution in order to fulfill CIEE course
requirements is not tolerated. The penalty ranges from failure on the assignment to dismissal
from the program. The Academic Director should be consulted and involved in decision making
in every case of a possible violation of academic honesty.
Weekly Schedule
Week 1
Introduction to Law & Business
Read & brief cases: Law for Business (thereafter LFB) Ch. 1, pgs.
3-18, 20-23, see Concept Summary: criminal/civil law pg. 8.
Week 2
Business Startup Action Plan - Risk Management – Dispute Resolution
Read and brief cases: Intl. Business and its Environment (thereafter
IBLE) pgs. 4-5, 6-20, 31-41, 20-30, 43-44,46,61-64 64-67, 67-74,
• Review startup business checklist:
Week 3
Property Law
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch. 8, pgs. 132-149, Ch. 33, pgs. 601-606,
622-625, Ch. 34, pgs. 626-630, Ch. 35, pgs. 659-662, 663-674, see
Concept Summary 673-674, 676.
Week 4
Company Law
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch. 26, pgs. 445-466, see Concept
Summary 445, pgs. 869-871, see Concept Summary 897-898.
Week 5
Midterm Exam
Week 6
Midterm Exam
Criminal Law & Business Ethics
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch. 5, pgs. 90-103, Ch. 3, pgs. 49-73, IBLE pgs. 64-67.
Week 7
Intentional Torts
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch 6, pgs. 104-118.
Week 8
Negligence - Strict Liability - Product Liability
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch. 7, pgs. 119-131, Ch. 20, pgs. 340-349,
323-327, see Concept Summary 337 & 345.
Week 9
Contract Law I
Read & brief cases: LFB Ch9, pgs. 151-166, Ch. 10, 167-184, Ch.
11, 185-198, Ch. 12, 199-214.
Week 10
Contract Law II
Read & brief cases LFB Ch. 13, 215-227, Ch. 14, 228-242, Ch. 15,
Week 11
Contract Law III
Read & brief cases LFB Ch. 18, 285-301, Ch. 37, pgs. 708-709,
710-711, 714-716.
Week 12
Business Law Project Oral presentations
Final Exam Week
Business Law Project Oral presentations
Law for Business, Barnes, Dworkin, Richards, 12th Edition, International Edition, selected pages
available on the course website
International Business Law and its Environment (International Edition), Schaffer, Agusti, Dhooge,
Earle, 8th Edition, 2012, selected pages available on the course website.
Recommended Materials
International trade website:
Worldwide Chamber of Commerce Guide:
Small Business Checklist:
Czech Republic business websites:
European Union Business Fact Sheet website:
Intl. Organization for Standardization:
Legal terminology-interactive language- website:
Dictionary & Encyclopedia Directory technical/legal words for most professions including
explanation of legal analysis & logical argument explanation: