In Latin it is where the etymological origin of the mercantile term that now occupies us is found. Specifically, we can determine that it comes from the sum of the conjugations of the Latin verb “mercari”, which can be translated as “trade or buy”, and the suffix “-il”.
The notion of trade can be associated with three concepts: commodity, merchant and Commerce. To understand their meaning, therefore, we must first know what these terms refer to.
A commodity is a economic good constituted as an object of purchase or sale. It is a movable thing that is interchangeable for something else, either through barter or through money as a means of exchange.
A merchant, on the other hand, is a subject who deals or trades with salable genres (that is, goods). In ancient times it used to be spoken of fabric merchant, book merchant, etc., depending on the sector where the person worked, although now the term is hardly used and has been replaced by businessman.
Trade, finally, is the socioeconomic activity based on the purchase and sale of merchandise. The trade can be the activity, the store or commercial establishment and the set of merchants.
These three definitions allow us to understand that mercantile can be that belonging to or relating to a commodity (“The police seized the drinks on the grounds that they were commercial objects intended for sale”), yet merchant (“My grandfather was a merchant man who traveled the world”) or to Commerce (“Commercial activity has grown 8% in the last semester”).
Many are the entities and institutions that make use of the commercial term. A good example of this are the following two:
• Banco Mercantil Universal. It is a financial institution that offers all types of loans, deposits, discounts and other operations, mainly within what would be the agricultural field. And it is that its objective is to promote and develop this sector.
• Madrid Mercantile Registry. As its name establishes, it is in the Spanish capital where the headquarters of this institution are located, which offers all kinds of services related to the deposit of accounts, the registration of real estate or the legalization of books, auditors and experts.
The commercial adjective, on the other hand, allows the creation of numerous expressions, such as commercial law (which regulates relations and acts of commerce), commercial register (the public registration of commercial acts) or chartered accountant (an accounting-oriented secondary education qualification).
Regarding Commercial Law, we would have to say that it is framed within what is Private Law and is characterized by the following hallmarks:
• Its objective is to be able to solve and solve each and every one of the problems that arise within the commercial sphere, that is, between entrepreneurs.
• It is being updated as the economic and social conditions of a specific country and the world in general change.
• It is international, since we live in a society where commercial transactions are carried out between companies and countries around the world.