Definition of Trader – What is, Meaning and Concept

In Latin it is where we can clearly find the etymological origin of the word businessman. Specifically, it emanates from the Latin noun commercium, in turn composed of two different parts: the prefix with-, which is equivalent to “set”, and the word merx, which can be translated as “merchandise”.

Businessman is the person that trade (that is to say, who is dedicated to negotiating buying and selling merchandise). The term is used to name who is business owner or who works in a Commerce. For example: “My father is a merchant: he has a local computer supplies in the center”, “The neighborhood merchants demand greater security in the face of the wave of robberies”, “I was once a successful merchant, although the economic crisis of the ’90s forced me to close the business”.


A merchant is someone who is in business.

Merchant activity

It is interesting to note, in addition to all the above, that merchants carry out one of the oldest activities in the world. And it is that already in the Neolithic there were all kinds of transactions, which at that time revolved around agriculture. Then with the passage of time they were expanded and developed with activities such as bartering or with elements such as the appearance of money.

It should be noted that carrying out an act of commerce does not imply that a person is a merchant, since whoever buys in a store is also taking part in this type of action. However, in that case, it is a accidental subject of trade. The merchant, on the other hand, is the one who carries out acts of commerce on a regular basis.

Commercial law

At commercial law, merchants or commercial subjects are the people who are object of regulation. In other words, a merchant is a person to whom the commercial laws apply.

These regulations, among many other aspects, make it clear that the merchant as such has a series of very important obligations so that his activity is under the necessary parameters of legality. Specifically, they determine that you have to comply with these actions:

• It is essential that you strictly and exhaustively keep an accounting of your business.
• In order to carry out its commercial activity, it is vital that it is registered in the corresponding commercial register.
• Of course, you must keep all the documentation related to both your premises and the exercise of your activity.
• Another of the most important obligations that merchants are also required to do is pay the corresponding taxes, based on their exercise.
• All this without forgetting that it must be subject to all those actions that are requested by the State entities and that are dedicated to the control of commercial activity.


In some trades and professions, being qualified as a trader is a negative thing.

Merchant as a derogatory rating

In some countries, and depending on the context, the term may be used in a derogatory or critical way.

In these cases, a merchant is someone who lie or cheats with the intention of completing a commercial transaction, defrauding another person: “This doctor is a merchant: every time I go to the office, he wants to sell me some new treatment”, “Miguel is a merchant, he is always trying to obtain an advantage in his favor”, “I am a professional who trades, not a trader”.

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