Required Resource


Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of Business Law [Electronic version]. Retrieved from

  • Chapter 11: Personal and Real Property
  • Chapter 13: Business Organizations


O’Leary, H., & Lloyd, S. M. (2004). Governance in the spotlight: What the Sarbanes-Oxley Act means for you. Trustee, 57(8), 15. Retrieved from

  • The full-text version of this article can be accessed through the EBSCOhost database in the Ashford University Library.Accessibility Statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.Privacy Policy (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


Starting & managing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. (n.d.). SBA. Retrieved from

Recommended Resource


DeAngelis, M. (2012, September 19). Did Jerry Garcia’s drug-induced haze compromise his contractual capacity? (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Week Four Lecture

Real, Intellectual, and Personal Property, and Business Ethics 

Real, Intellectual, and Personal Property

Property Property is an interest, or a group of interests, that is legally protected. The right to possess property, use it, sell it, and to control to whom it shall pass on the death of the owner are all included within the term “property.”In everyday life, people tend to think of property ownership in two ways:  

  1. As owning the physical thing itself (e.g., “I just bought a piece of property in San Diego,” referring to a house and lot, etc.); and
  2. A right or interest in a physical object (e.g., as when the owner of a pair of Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 season tickets has a property interest in seats 133 and 134, Section F, on specified dates — without owning the seats, Heinz Field, or the team, etc.).

Tangible and Intangible Property Tangible property has a physical presence (e.g., land, books, etc.), while intangible property does not. Examples of intangible property are a stock certificate, a promissory note, and a deed; each stands for rights which cannot be reduced to physical possessions but which have legal reality and will be judicially protected. The same item may be the object of both tangible and intangible property. If Sally buys a book published by Smith & Sons, she owns that particular copy; it is tangible property. However, Smith & Sons has the exclusive right to publish copies of the book, a right granted by the copyright laws. The courts will protect this intangible property of Smith & Sons, as well as Sally’s right to her particular volume.Real and Personal Property Real property is land and all interests in it. Personal property is every item or interest that is not real property. The transfer of real property during life can be accomplished only through certain formalities, including execution and delivery of a written instrument known as a deed. In contrast, personal property may be transferred with relative simplicity and informality.Curious about how billionaires become rich by purchasing real property? Here is a list of the top 20 richest real-estate billionaires: The 20 Richest Real Estate Tycoons On The Forbes Billionaires List (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..FixturesPersonal property is property that becomes so firmly attached to land so as to become part of the realty. Unless otherwise provided by agreement, personal property remains the property of the person who placed it on the real estate. On the other hand, property that has been affixed so as to become a fixture (an actual part of the real estate) becomes the property of the real estate owner.The most important test of whether an item is a fixture is whether it can be removed without material injury to the land or building on the land; if not, the item is generally held to have become part of the realty. However, the test of purpose or use applies if the item can be removed without damaging the property.

Business Ethics

We will explore business ethics. What is business ethics? Why is business ethics important? How do I resolve ethical dilemmas? We will discuss how the concepts of positive law and natural law are covered along with notions of moral relativism and stakeholder theory. We will explore the importance of trust and reputation in business ethics and business financial performance through examples and studies.  Ethical behavior offers significant advantages: society, as a whole, benefits; executives who behave ethically have happier, more fulfilled lives; and unethical behavior can destroy a company. Ethical behavior is essential to the business world.Please keep these ideas in mind as we move forward with our discussion:

  1. Why bother to act ethically at all?
  2. What is the most important consideration when making an ethical decision? To do the right thing for the right reason? Or to do what produces the most favorable results?
  3. Should you apply your personal ethics in the workplace? Or should you have different ethical values at home and at work?
  4. Is the primary role of corporations to make money? Or do they have responsibilities to workers, communities, customers, and other “stakeholders”?
  5. When, if ever, is lying acceptable?

The Enron scandal is a textbook case of one of the most shocking and widely reported ethics violations of all time. To read more about the ethical lessons of Enron and corporate malfeasance, please read Enron, Ethics and Today’s Corporate Values (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..For a more broad perspective on ethic violations by CEOs, please read 5 Most Publicized Ethics Violations by CEOs (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

Forbes School of Business Faculty


Carlyle, E. (2014, March 4). The 20 richest real estate tycoons on the Forbes billionaires list. Retrieved from

Investopedia. (2013, February 5). 5 most publicized ethics violations by CEOs. Retrieved from

Liuzzo, A. L. (2013). Essentials of business law (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Rogers, S. (2012). Essentials of business law. Retrieved from

Silverstein, K. (2013, May 14). Enron, ethics and today’s corporate values. Retrieved from


Real, Intellectual, and Personal Property                                                                              

List two characteristics each of real, intellectual, and personal property.  Do owners of real, intellectual, and personal property each have the same rights under the law?  List how each type of property is treated under the law. Explain why it is in the best interest of society to treat these types of property the same or differently.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your classmates’ postings by Day 7.  Do you agree or disagree with any of their views on real, intellectual or personal property? Do you agree with your classmate’s position on why society should treat property interests the same or differently? Explain. 


Business Ethics                                                                                                                                                                          

Read the article Governance in the Spotlight: What the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Means for You. In this article the author outlines provisions companies are now required to implement. Consider the requirements imposed by Sarbanes-Oxley on corporate boards of directors. Do small businesses and privately held companies have ethical duties? If so, to whom would they owe this duty? Employees? Customers? Vendors? Should the law impose ethical requirements on small businesses or privately held companies or can the marketplace police unethical business behavior? Provide support to justify your position.

Guided Response: Review your classmates’ postings by Day 7. For at least two of your classmates, discuss whether you agree or disagree with their position. Explain.


Multimedia activity: Business Organization

Visit the Choose Your Business Structure (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. section of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.

If you were to start your own business, which business entity structure would you choose? Justify why your chosen structure is the best organizational form.

Explain the following business structures: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and a corporation. In your analysis address the following for each business structure:

  • Steps to form
  • Personal liability for owners
  • Taxation
  • Advantages and disadvantages

Your paper must be three to five pages (excluding title and reference pages), and it must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. You must cite at least two scholarly sources in addition to the course textbook. Cite your sources in-text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site..

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