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Business

trade, land, purpose, offices and carried

BUSINESS : is a ward of large and indefinite import, and it has accordingly received many definitions. Thus it is called, generally, an employment, a transaction of affairs, an object which engages care, a something required to be done. More particularly it is defined as that which occupies the time, and attention, and labour of men, for the purpose of profit or improvement. Again, " business is a particular occupation, as agriculture, trade, mechanics, art, or profession, and when used in connection with par ticular employments it admits the plural, that is, businesses." It is accordingly a word of extensive use and indefinite signification, and is undoubtedly used as such m hen appearing in any Act of Parliament. The word is, moreover, of more extensive signification than "trade." The earlier Bankruptcy Acts, which only applied to persons engaged in trade, were held not to embrace farmers ; but it was never doubted the farming was a "business," though not a "trade." Nor, strictly speaking, is banking a trade, yet it would be for the purpose of excluding a clergyman from its pursuit. There are many things which in common col4oquial English would not be called a business when carried on by a single person, which would be so called when carried on by a number of persons. For instance, a man who is the owner of offices, that is, of a house divided into several floors and used for commercial purposes, would not be said to carry on a business merely because he let the offices as such ; but suppose a company was formed for the purpose of buying a building, to be divided into offices, and to be let oat, should we not say, if that was the object of the company, that the company was carrying on business for the purpose of letting offices ? The same may be said as regards a single individual buying and selling land, with this addition, that he may make it a business, and then it is a question of continuity. A man occasionally buys and sells land, as many landou ners do,

and nobody would say he was a land-jobber, or dealer in land ; but if a man made it his particular business to buy and sell land to obtain profit, he would be designated as a land-jobber or dealer in land.

It often becomes a question of considerable importance whether or no an individual is engaged in business or trade. For example, a married woman can only be made bankrupt when she is engaged in trade. A clergyman may not by himself engage in trade ; but he may earn his living as a school master, or as a farmer of his own glebe, although the calling of a schoolmaster is a public trade or business within the meaning of a covenant, which prohibits "a public trade or business" being carried on upon certain premises. Keep ing a lodging-house would apparently not be a breach of a covenant not to carry on a trade or business upon certain premises, but such premises could not be used as a pay-hospital, as a branch for the out-patients of a hospital, or as a home for working girls.