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Commercial Law — The concept of business ("commerce") — Business transactions ("actes de commerce")

Date Citation Note
11.12.1973 Com. 357 Case Khalfi v. Caisse régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel de la Gironde (“C.R.C.A.M.”) French law makes a fundamental distinction between acts which are carried out in the course of business and those which are not. If a person carries out the former habitually, he will have the status of “commerçant” or businessperson, and such acts carried out by him are subject to the Commercial Code and are litigated before the Commercial Courts, and filing and taxation consequences flow for him. The definition of a business transaction is contained in the Commercial Code, now at Art. L110-1 and 110-2. This case is an illustration of the difficulties of jurisdiction which may arise where litigation is brought between a person who is not a businessperson (in this case a non-profit organisation) within the meaning of the Code. The judgement of a court of appeal is quashed for having found that the opening and management of a savings account by a bank for a non-profit organisation was not a business transaction, and consequently the Commercial Court did not have jurisdiction, whereas pursuant to Art. 632 of the Code (now Art. L110-1-7) such a transaction, clearly a banking transaction, is a business transaction.