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For other uses, see Business (disambiguation).
"Firm" redirects here. For other uses, see The Firm.
European Union / EEA
UK / Ireland / Commonwealth
Community interest company
Delaware statutory trust
Massachusetts business trust
Business judgment rule
De facto corporation and corporation by estoppel
Internal affairs doctrine
Piercing the corporate veil
A business (also known as enterprise or firm) is an organization involved in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Business plan and Business model determine the outcome of an active business operation. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, where most of them are privately owned and administered to earn profit to increase the wealth of their owners. Businesses may also be not-for-profit or state-owned. A business owned by multiple individuals may be referred to as a company, although that term also has a more precise meaning.
The etymology of "business" relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society, as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work. The term "business" has at least three usages, depending on the scope — the singular usage to mean a particular organization; the generalized usage to refer to a particular market sector, "the music business" and compound forms such as agribusiness; and the broadest meaning, which encompasses all activity by the community of suppliers of goods and services. However, the exact definition of business, like much else in the philosophy of business, is a matter of debate and complexity of meanings. Contents
1 Basic forms of ownership
3.1 Reforming state enterprises
4 Organization and government regulation
4.1 Commercial law
4.3 Intellectual property
5 See also
Basic forms of ownership
Although forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, several common forms exist:
Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person for-profit. The owner may operate the business alone or may employ others. The owner of the business has unlimited liability for the debts incurred by the business. Partnership: A partnership is a business owned by two or more people. In most forms of partnerships, each partner has unlimited liability for the debts incurred by the business. The three typical classifications of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships. Corporation: A corporation is a limited liability business that has a separate legal personality from its members. Corporations can be either government-owned or privately owned, and corporations can organize either for-profit or not-for-profit. A privately owned, for-profit corporation is owned by shareholders who elect a board of directors to direct the corporation and hire its...