the central purpose of this article is to determine what sort of moral demands should be satisfied by business in the social state of law. a critical analysis is made of what could be called the liberal model of enterprise, that underlies the arguments of defenders of the market system such as friedman, posner and hayek. the reference point is colombia's 1991 constitution and the position is that the liberal model of enterprise does not satisfy the principles and norms of a social state of law. the defence of this thesis makes a reconstruction of the central elements of the model based on critical readings of friedman, posner, kalmanovitz, carrasquilla and clavijo. finally, there is a discussion of four critiques of the liberal concept of enterprise which draw out its limitations in terms of the norms and principles of the social state or law.