A business, also known as an enterprise or a firm, is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Businesses are prevalent in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and provide goods and services to customers in exchange for other goods, services, or money. Businesses may also benot-for-profit or state-owned. A business owned by multiple individuals may be referred to as a company.
Business can refer to a particular organization or to an entire market sector, e.g. "the music business". Compound forms such as agribusiness represent subsets of the word's broader meaning, which encompasses all activity by suppliers of goods and services. The goal is for sales to be more than expenditures resulting in a profit.
Forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, but several common forms exist:
* Sole proprietorship: A sole ...view middle of the document...
In most forms of partnerships, each partner has unlimited liability for the debts incurred by the business. The three most prevalent types of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.
* Corporation: The owners of a corporation have limited liability and the business has a separate legal personalityfrom its owners. Corporations can be either government-owned or privately owned. They can organize either for profit or as not-for-profit organizations. A privately owned, for-profit corporation is owned by its shareholders, who elect a board of directors to direct the corporation and hire its managerial staff. A privately owned, for-profit corporation can be either privately held by a small group of individuals, or publicly held, with publicly traded shares listed on a stock exchange.
* Cooperative: Often referred to as a "co-op", a cooperative is a limited liability business that can organize for-profit or not-for-profit. A cooperative differs from a corporation in that it has members, not shareholders, and they share decision-making authority. Cooperatives are typically classified as either consumer cooperatives or worker cooperatives. Cooperatives are fundamental to the ideology of economic democracy.
* The efficient and effective operation of a business, and study of this subject, is called management. The major branches of management are financial management,marketing management, human resource management, strategic management, production management, operations management, service management andinformation technology management.
* Owners may administer their businesses themselves, or employ managers to do this for them. Whether they are owners or employees, managers administer three primary components of the business' value: its financial resources, capital or tangible resources, and human resources. These resources are administered in at least five functional areas: legal contracting, manufacturing or service production, marketing, accounting, financing, and human resources