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Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." Having a
business name A trade name, trading name, or business name is a pseudonym used by companies that do not operate under their registered company name. The term for this type of alternative name is a "fictitious" business name. Registering the fictitious name with ...
does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business. The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a
company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common ...
. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for
limited liability Limited liability is a legal status where a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a corporation, company or partnership. If a company that provides limited liability to its in ...
, as well as
corporate tax A corporate tax, also called corporation tax or company tax, is a direct tax Though the actual definitions vary between jurisdictions, in general, a direct tax is a tax imposed upon a person or property as distinct from a tax imposed upon a tran ...
rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.


Forms

Forms of business ownership vary by
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
, but several common entities exist: * Sole proprietorship: A
sole proprietorship A sole proprietorship, also known as the sole trader, individual entrepreneurship or proprietorship, is a type of enterprise owned and run by one person and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity. A sol ...
, also known as a sole trader, is owned by one person and operates for their benefit. The owner operates the business alone and may hire
employees Employment is a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract A contract is a legally binding document between at least two parties that defines and governs the rights and duties of the parties to an agreement. A contract is le ...

employees
. A sole proprietor has unlimited
liability Liability may refer to: Law * Legal liability, in both civil and criminal law ** Public liability, part of the law of tort which focuses on civil wrongs ** Product liability, the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retai ...
for all obligations incurred by the business, whether from
operating cost Operating costs or operational costs, are the expenseExpenditure is an outflow of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose ...
s or
judgment Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a ...
s against the business. All
asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that can be used to produce positive economic value. Assets represent value ...
s of the business belong to a sole proprietor, including, for example, a computer infrastructure, any
inventory Inventory (American English) or stock (British English) refers to the goods and materials that a business holds for the ultimate goal of resale, production or utilisation. Stock management, Inventory management is a discipline primarily about spe ...
,
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector ...
equipment, or
retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (e ...

retail
fixtures, as well as any
real property In England, English common law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is land which is the property of some person and all structures (also called Land improvement, improvements or Fixture (property law), fixtures) integra ...
owned by the sole proprietor. * Partnership: A
partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partnerA business partner is a commercial entity with which another commercial entity has some form of alliance. This relationship may be a contract A contract is a legally bin ...

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 most prevalent types of for-profit partnerships are
general partnership A general partnership, the basic form of partnership under common law, is in most countries an association of persons or an unincorporated company with the following major features: *Must be created by agreement, proof of existence and estoppel. ...
s,
limited partnership A limited partnership (LP) is a form of partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, known as business partners, agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests. The partners in a partnership may be individuals, business ent ...
s, and
limited liability partnership A limited liability partnership (LLP) is a partnership in which some or all partners (depending on the jurisdiction) have limited liabilities. It therefore can exhibit elements of partnership A partnership is an arrangement where parties, ...
s. * Corporation: The owners of a
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
have
limited liability Limited liability is a legal status where a person's financial liability is limited to a fixed sum, most commonly the value of a person's investment in a corporation, company or partnership. If a company that provides limited liability to its in ...
and the business has a separate
legal personality In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its b ...
from its owners. Corporations can be either government-owned or privately owned, and they can organize either for profit or as
nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, in contrast with an entity that op ...
s. A privately owned, for-profit corporation is owned by its
shareholder A shareholder (in the United States often referred to as stockholder) of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal en ...
s, who elect a
board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such as a company, an institution, ...
to direct the corporation and hire its managerial staff. A privately owned, for-profit corporation can be either
privately held A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a corporation not owned by the government, non-governmental organizations and by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members, which does not offer or trade its com ...
by a small group of individuals, or
publicly held A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a company whose ownership is organized via shares of stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock exchange or in O ...
, with publicly traded
shares In financial markets A financial market is a market in which people trade financial securities and derivatives at low transaction costs. Some of the securities include stocks and bonds, raw materials and precious metals, which are known ...
listed on a
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
. * Cooperative: Often referred to as a "co-op", a
cooperative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous The federal subject in Russia">Federal subjects of Russia">federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Picture of Petrozavodsk, the capital of the ...
is a limited-liability business that can organize as 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 cooperative A worker cooperative is a cooperative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous The federal subject in Russia">Federal subjects of Russia">federal subject in Russia, close to borders of Finland. Pict ...
s. Cooperatives are fundamental to the ideology of
economic democracy Economic democracy is a socioeconomic philosophy that proposes to shift decision-making power from corporate managers and corporate shareholders to a larger group of public stakeholders that includes workers, customers, suppliers, neighbours ...
. *
Limited liability companies A limited liability company (LLC) is the US-specific form of a private limited company A private limited company is any type of business entity in Privately held company, "private" ownership used in many jurisdictions, in contrast to a Pub ...
(LLC), limited liability partnerships, and other specific types of business organization protect their owners or shareholders from
business failure__NOTOC__ Business failure refers to a company ceasing operations following its inability to make a profit (accounting), profit or to bring in enough revenue to cover its expenses. A profitable business can fail if it does not generate adequat ...
by doing business under a separate legal entity with certain legal protections. In contrast, unincorporated businesses or persons working on their own are usually not as protected. * Franchises: A
franchise Franchise may refer to: Business and law * Franchising, a business method that involves licensing of trademarks and methods of doing business to franchisees * Franchise, a privilege to operate a type of business such as a cable television pro ...
is a system in which entrepreneurs purchase the rights to open and run a business from a larger corporation. Franchising in the United States is widespread and is a major economic powerhouse. One out of twelve retail businesses in the United States are franchised and 8 million people are employed in a franchised business. * A
company limited by guarantee In British, Irish and Australian company law Corporate law (also known as business law or enterprise law or sometimes company law) is the body of law governing the rights, relations, and conduct of persons, companies, organizations and b ...
: Commonly used where companies are formed for non-commercial purposes, such as clubs or charities. The members guarantee the payment of certain (usually nominal) amounts if the company goes into insolvent liquidation, but otherwise, they have no economic rights in relation to the company. This type of company is common in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...

England
. A company limited by guarantee may be with or without having
share capital__NOTOC__ A corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law 'born out of statute"; a legal person in ...
. * A
company limited by shares A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common ...
: The most common form of the company used for business ventures. Specifically, a limited company is a "company in which the liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount individually invested" with corporations being "the most common example of a limited company."Black's Law and lee Dictionary. Second Pocket Edition. Bryan A. Garner, editor. West. 2001. This type of company is common in
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...

England
and many English-speaking countries. A company limited by shares may be a **
publicly traded company A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, som ...
or a **
privately held company A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a corporation not owned by the government, non-governmental organizations and by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members, which does not offer or trade its com ...
* A company limited by guarantee with a share capital: A hybrid entity, usually used where the company is formed for non-commercial purposes, but the activities of the company are partly funded by investors who expect a return. This type of company may no longer be formed in the UK, although provisions still exist in law for them to exist. * A
limited liability company A limited liability company (LLC) is the United States of America, US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the Flow-through entity, pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorshi ...
: "A company—statutorily authorized in certain states—that is characterized by limited liability, management by members or managers, and limitations on ownership transfer", i.e., L.L.C. LLC structure has been called "hybrid" in that it "combines the characteristics of a corporation and of a partnership or sole proprietorship". Like a corporation, it has limited liability for members of the company, and like a partnership, it has "flow-through taxation to the members" and must be "dissolved upon the death or bankruptcy of a member". * An
unlimited company An unlimited company or private unlimited company is a hybrid company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mix ...
with or without a share capital: A hybrid entity, a company where the liability of members or shareholders for the debts (if any) of the company are not limited. In this case, the doctrine of a veil of incorporation does not apply. ''Less common types of companies are:'' * Companies formed by letters patent: Most corporations by letters patent are '' corporations sole'' and not companies as the term is commonly understood today. * : Before the passing of modern companies legislation, these were the only types of companies. Now they are relatively rare, except for very old companies that still survive (of which there are still many, particularly many British banks), or modern societies that fulfill a quasi-regulatory function (for example, the
Bank of England The Bank of England is the central bank A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages the currency and monetary policy of a State (polity), state or formal monetary union, and oversees their commercial ...

Bank of England
is a corporation formed by a modern charter). * Statutory companies: Relatively rare today, certain companies have been formed by a private statute passed in the relevant jurisdiction. Note that "Ltd after the company's name signifies limited company, and PLC (
public limited company A public limited company (legally abbreviated to PLC or plc) is a type of public company under United Kingdom company law, some Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company wh ...
) indicates that its shares are widely held." In legal parlance, the owners of a company are normally referred to as the "members". In a company limited or unlimited by shares (formed or incorporated with a share capital), this will be the
shareholder A shareholder (in the United States often referred to as stockholder) of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal en ...
s. In a company limited by guarantee, this will be the guarantors. Some offshore jurisdictions have created special forms of
offshore company The term "offshore company" or "offshore corporation" is used in at least two distinct and different ways. An offshore company may be a reference to: * a company, Corporate group, group or sometimes a division thereof, which engages in offshoring ...
in a bid to attract business for their jurisdictions. Examples include " segregated portfolio companies" and restricted purpose companies. There are, however, many, many sub-categories of types of company that can be formed in various jurisdictions in the world. Companies are also sometimes distinguished into
public companies A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a company whose ownership is organized via shares of share capital, stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock e ...
and
private companies A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a corporation not owned by the government, non-governmental organizations and by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members, which does not offer or trade its com ...
for legal and regulatory purposes. Public companies are companies whose shares can be publicly traded, often (although not always) on a
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
which imposes listing requirements/ Listing Rules as to the issued shares, the trading of shares and a future issue of shares to help bolster the reputation of the exchange or particular market of exchange. Private companies do not have publicly traded shares, and often contain restrictions on transfers of shares. In some jurisdictions, private companies have maximum numbers of shareholders. A
parent company A parent company is a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personality, legal entity representing an association of people, whether Natural person, natural, Legal personality, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. ...
is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors; the second company being deemed as a subsidiary of the parent company. The definition of a parent company differs by jurisdiction, with the definition normally being defined by way of laws dealing with companies in that jurisdiction.


Classifications

*
Agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentism, sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domestication, domesticated species created food ...
, such as the domestication of fish, animals, and livestock, as well as
lumber Lumber, also known as timber, is a type of wood that has been processed into Beam (structure), beams and plank (wood), planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as ...
,
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general chemistry, matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. All everyday objects that can b ...
and
mining Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the Earth, usually from an ore body, lode, vein, seam, reef, or placer deposit. These deposits form a mineralized commodity that is of economic interest to t ...
businesses that extract natural resources and raw materials, such as
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the Plant stem, stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite material, composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embe ...

wood
,
petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a #Latent heat of vaporization, naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth, Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. ...

petroleum
,
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxide ...

natural gas
,
ore ore – psilomelane (size: 6.7 × 5.8 × 5.1 cm) ore – galena and anglesite (size: 4.8 × 4.0 × 3.0 cm) ore (size: 7.5 × 6.1 × 4.1 cm) File:OreCartPachuca.JPG, upMinecart on display at the Historic Archive and Museum of Min ...

ore
s, plants or
mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. Rafferty, ed. (20 ...

mineral
s. *
Financial services Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of mone ...
businesses include
bank A bank is a financial institution that accepts Deposit account, deposits from the public and creates a demand deposit while simultaneously making loans. Lending activities can be directly performed by the bank or indirectly through capital ma ...
s,
brokerage firm A broker is a person or firm who arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller for a commission when the deal is executed. A broker who also acts as a seller or as a buyer becomes a principal party to the deal. Neither role should be conf ...
s,
credit union A credit union, a type of financial institution Financial institutions, otherwise known as banking institutions, are corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polit ...
s,
credit cards A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the other agreed charges. ...
,
insurance companies Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. ...
,
asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that can be used to produce positive economic value. Assets represent value ...
and investment companies such as
private-equity firm A private-equity firm is an investment management Investment management is the professional asset management of various securities, including shareholdings, bonds, and other asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is a ...
s,
private-equity fund A private-equity fund is a collective investment scheme used for making investments in various equity (and to a lesser extent debt) securities according to one of the investment strategies associated with private equity. Private equity funds are t ...
s,
real estate investment trust A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, including office building, office and apartment buildings, warehouses, hospitals ...
s,
sovereign wealth fund A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sovereign investment fund, or social wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund Image:Financial info.jpg, The values and performance of collective funds are listed in newspapers. An investment fund is a way of inv ...
s,
pension fund A pension fund, also known as a superannuation fund in some countries, is any plan, fund, or scheme which provides retirement income. Pension funds typically have large amounts of money to invest and are the major investors in listed and private ...
s,
mutual fund A mutual fund is an open-end professionally managed investment fund that pools money from many investors to purchase securities. Mutual funds are "the largest proportion of equity of U.S. corporations." Mutual fund investors may be retail or inst ...
s, index funds, and
hedge fund A hedge fund is a pooled investment fund that trades in relatively liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear str ...
s,
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
s, and other companies that generate profits through investment and management of
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
. *
Entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and Interest (emotion), interest of an audience or gives pleasure and delight. It can be an idea or a task, but is more likely to be one of the activities or events that have develo ...
companies and
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for ...
agencies generate profits primarily from the sale of
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The most well-known types are copyright ...
. They include
film studio A film studio (also known as movie studio or simply studio) is a major entertainment company or motion picture company that has its own privately owned studio A studio is an artist or worker's workroom. This can be for the purpose of acting, arc ...
s and
production house Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics)Production is a process of combining various material inputs and immaterial inputs (plans, know-how) in order to make something for consumption (output). It is the act of creating a ...
s, mass media companies such as
cable television network Cable television is a system of delivering television Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome (black and white), or in color, and in two o ...
s, online
digital media Digital media means any communication media that operate with the use of any of various encoded machine-readable data Machine-readable data, or computer-readable data, is data Data are units of information Information can be thought ...
agencies,
talent agencies Talent has two principal meanings: * Talent (measurement) The talent was a unit of weight that was introduced in Mesopotamia at the end of the 4th millennium BC, and was normalized at the end of the 3rd millennium during the Akkadian-Sumer phase. ...
,
mobile media The notion of making media mobile can be traced back to the “first time someone thought to write on a tablet that could be lifted and hauled – rather than on a cave wall, a cliff face, a monument that usually was stuck in place, more or less for ...
outlets,
newspapers A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a white or gray background. Newspapers can cover a wide variety of fields such as po ...
,
book A book is a medium for recording information Information can be thought of as the resolution of uncertainty; it answers the question of "What an entity is" and thus defines both its essence and the nature of its characteristics. The conc ...
and
magazine publishing A magazine is a periodical literature, periodical publication which is printing, printed in Coated paper, gloss-coated and Paint sheen, matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content (media) ...

magazine publishing
houses. * Industrial
manufacturers Manufacturing is the production of goods through the use of labor, machine A machine is a man-made device that uses power to apply forces and control movement to perform an action. Machines can be driven by animals and people A p ...
produce
products Product may refer to: Business * Product (business), an item that serves as a solution to a specific consumer problem. * Product (project management), a deliverable or set of deliverables that contribute to a business solution Mathematics * Produc ...
, either from
raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in par ...
s or from component parts, then export the finished products at a
profit Profit may refer to: Business and law * Profit (accounting), the difference between the purchase price and the costs of bringing to market * Profit (economics), normal profit and economic profit * Profit (real property), a nonpossessory interest ...
. They include
tangible According to the philosopher Piyush Mathur (2017), "''Tangibility is the property that a phenomenon exhibits if it has and/or transports mass and/or energy and/or momentum". Mathur, Piyush (2017) ''Technological Forms and Ecological Communication: ...
goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods ...
such as
cars A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles A motor vehicle, also k ...
,
buses trolleybus A trolleybus (also known as trolley bus, trolley coach, trackless trolley, trackless tramin the 1910s and 1920sJoyce, J.; King, J. S.; and Newman, A. G. (1986). ''British Trolleybus Systems'', pp. 9, 12. London: Ian Allan Publis ...
,
medical devices Artificial pacemaker, a Class III device in the United States A medical device is any device intended to be used for medical purposes. Medical devices benefit patients by helping health care providers diagnose and treat patients and helping pati ...
,
glass Glass is a non- crystalline, often transparency and translucency, transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics. Glass is most often formed by ...
, or
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lat ...
. *
Real estate Real estate is property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this (also) an item of real property, (more general ...

Real estate
businesses sell, invest, construct and develop
properties Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether phys ...
, including
land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists mainly of Earth's crust, crustal components such a ...

land
, residential
home A home, or domicile, is a space used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for one or many Human, humans. It is a fully or semi sheltered space and can have both interior and exterior aspects to it. Homes provide sheltered spaces for i ...

home
s, and other buildings. *
Retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (e ...

Retail
ers,
wholesalers Wholesaling or distributing is the sale of goods or merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased ...
, and
distributors A distributor is an enclosed rotating Shaft (mechanical engineering), shaft used in Spark-ignition engine, spark-ignition internal combustion engines that have mechanically timed ignition system, ignition. The distributor's main function is to r ...
act as middlemen and get goods produced by manufacturers to the intended consumers; they make their profits by marking up their prices. Most stores and catalog companies are distributors or retailers. *
Transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one location to another. In other words, the action of transport is defined as a particular movement ...

Transport
ation businesses such as
railways Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation ...
,
airline An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no responsibility for the tasks required for that vehicle ...
s,
shipping companies Freight companies are companies that specialize in the moving (or "Freight forwarding, forwarding") of freight, or cargo, from one place to another. These companies are divided into several variant sections. For example, international freight forwa ...
that deliver goods and individuals to their destinations for a fee. *
Sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition arises whenever two or more parties strive for a common goal A goal is an idea of the future or desired result that a person or a group of people envision, Planning, plan and co ...
organizations are involved in producing, facilitating, promoting, or organizing any activity, experience, or business enterprise focused on sports. They make their profits by selling goods and services that are sports related. *
Utilities A public utility company (usually just utility) is an organization that maintains the infrastructure for a public service (often also providing a service using that infrastructure). Public utilities are subject to forms of State ownership, publi ...

Utilities
produce
public service A public service is a service Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of the workload of university faculty * Civil service The civil service is a col ...

public service
s such as
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms (in which it acts ...

water
,
electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion Image:Leaving Yongsan Station.jpg, 300px, Motion involves a change in position In physics, motion is the phenomenon in which an object changes its positio ...

electricity
,
waste management upContainers for consumer waste collection at the Gdańsk University of Technology Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the processes and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes ...

waste management
or sewage treatment. These industries are usually operated under the charge of a public
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...
. * Service businesses offer intangible goods or services and typically charge for labor or other services provided to
government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, Executive (government), ex ...

government
, to
consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services Service may refer to: Activities :''(See the Religion section for religious activities)'' * Administrative service, a required part of ...
s, or to other businesses. Interior decorators, beauticians, hair stylists, make-up artists, tanning salons, laundromats, dry cleaners, and pest controllers are service businesses.


Activities


Accounting

Accounting is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and
corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law "born out of statute"; a legal person in legal ...
s. The modern field was established by the
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italian, regional variants of the ...
mathematician
Luca Pacioli Fra Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli (sometimes ''Paccioli'' or ''Paciolo''; 1447 – 19 June 1517) was an Italian mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, G ...

Luca Pacioli
in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including
investor An investor is a person that allocates capital with the expectation of a future financial return (profit) or to gain an advantage (interest). Through this allocated capital most of the time the investor purchases some species of property. Types ...
s,
creditor A creditor or lender is a party 300px, '' Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' (1888) by Peder Severin Krøyer, a painting portraying an artists' party in 19th century Denmark A party is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes ...
s,
management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit, non-profit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources. Management includes the activities o ...

management
, and
regulators Regulator may refer to: Technology * Regulator (automatic control), a device that maintains a designated characteristic, as in: ** Battery regulator ** Pressure regulator ** Diving regulator ** Voltage regulator * Regulator (sewer), a control devic ...
. Practitioners of accounting are known as
accountant An accountant is a practitioner of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as businesses and corporation ...
s. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.


Finance

Finance is a field that deals with the study of
investments To invest is to allocate money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in the left corner, 17 ...
. It includes the dynamics of
asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that can be used to produce positive economic value. Assets represent value ...
s and
liabilities Liability may refer to: Law * Legal liability, in both civil and criminal law ** Public liability, part of the law of tort which focuses on civil wrongs ** Product liability, the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, re ...
over time under conditions of different degrees of uncertainty and risk. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. Finance aims to price assets based on their risk level and their expected
rate of return In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money available ...
. Finance can be broken into three different sub categories:
public finance Public finance is the study of the role of the government in the economy. It is the branch of economics that assesses the government revenue and government expenditure of the public authorities and the adjustment of one or the other to achieve ...
,
corporate finance Corporate finance is the area of finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers an ...
, and
personal finance Personal finance is the financial management which an individual or a family unit performs to budget, save, and spend monetary resources over time, taking into account various financial risks and future life events. When planning personal fin ...

personal finance
. Activities also include budgeting, forecasting and lending money, and is defined as the management of money.


Manufacturing

Manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector ...
is the production of
merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or Service (economics), services primarily for p ...
for use or sale using
labour Labour or labor may refer to: * Childbirth Childbirth, also known as labour or delivery, is the ending of pregnancy where one or more babies leaves the uterus by passing through the vagina or by Caesarean section. In 2015, there were about 13 ...

labour
and
machine A machine is any physical system with ordered structural and functional properties. It may represent human-made or naturally occurring device molecular machine that uses Power (physics), power to apply Force, forces and control Motion, movement ...

machine
s,
tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tool A stone tool is, in the most general sense, an ...

tool
s, chemical and biological processing, or formulation. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from
handicraft A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by one’s hand or by using only simple, non-automated relat ...

handicraft
to
high tech High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology Technology ("science of craft", from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''techne'', "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and , ''wikt:-logia, -logia'') is the sum of Art techni ...
, but is most commonly applied to
industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering dealing with the optimization of complex industrial processes or systems * Industrial loan company, a f ...
production, in which
raw material A raw material, also known as a feedstock, unprocessed material, or primary commodity, is a basic material that is used to produce goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in par ...
s are transformed into
finished good Finished goods are Good (economics and accounting), goods that have completed the manufacturing process but have not yet been sold or distributed to the end user. Manufacturing Manufacturing has three classes of inventory: # Raw material # Work ...
s on a large scale.


Marketing

Marketing is defined by the
American Marketing Association The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) seeks to advocacy, further a particular profession, the inter ...
as ''"the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."'' The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to a market to buy or sell goods or services. Marketing tactics include
advertising Advertising is a marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize ...
as well as determining product
pricing Pricing is the Business process, process whereby a business sets the price at which it will sell its products and services, and may be part of the business's marketing plan. In setting prices, the business will take into account the price at whi ...

pricing
. With the rise in technology, marketing is further divided into a class called
digital marketing Digital marketing is the component of marketing that utilizes internet and online based digital technologies such as desktop computers, mobile phones and other digital media and platforms to promote products and services. Its development during th ...
. It is marketing products and services using digital technologies.


Research and development

Research and development refer to activities in connection with corporate or government innovation. Research and development constitute the first stage of development of a potential new service or product. Research and development are very difficult to manage since the defining feature of the research is that the researchers do not know in advance exactly how to accomplish the desired result.


Safety

Injuries cost businesses billions of dollars annually. Studies have shown how company acceptance and implementation of comprehensive safety and health management systems reduce incidents,
insurance Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management Risk management is the identification, evaluation, and prioritization of risk In simple terms, risk is the possibility of something bad happening. R ...

insurance
costs, and workers' compensation claims. New technologies, like wearable safety devices and available online safety training, continue to be developed to encourage employers to invest in protection beyond the " canary in the coal mine" and reduce the cost to businesses of protecting their employees.


Sales

Sales are activity related to selling or the number of goods or services sold in a given time period. Sales are often integrated with all lines of business and are key to a companies' success.


Management

The efficient and effective operation of a business, and study of this subject, is called
management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit, non-profit organization, or a government body. It is the art and science of managing resources. Management includes the activities o ...

management
. The major branches of management are
financial management Financial management may be defined as the area or function in an organization which is concerned with profitability, expenses, cash and credit, so that the "organization may have the means to carry out its objective as satisfactorily as possible ...

financial management
,
marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and services; potentially including selection of a target audience; selection of certain attributes or themes to emphasize in advertising; operation of adve ...

marketing
management,
human resource management Human resource management (HRM or HR) is the strategic approach to the effective and efficient management of people in a company or organization such that they help their business gain a competitive advantage. It is designed to maximize employee per ...
,
strategic management In the field of management Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an ...
, production management,
operations management Operations management is an area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production (economics), production and redesigning business operations in the production of good (economics), goods or service (economics), servi ...
,
service management Service management in the manufacturing context, is integrated into supply chain management 400px, In an efficient supply chain agreements are aligned In commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large ...
, and
information technology management IT management is the discipline whereby all of the information technology resources of a firm are managed in accordance with its needs and priorities. These resources may include tangible investments like computer hardware, software, data, networks ...
. Owners may manage their businesses themselves, or employ managers to do so for them. Whether they are owners or employees, managers administer three primary components of the business' value: financial resources, capital (tangible resources), and human resources. These resources are administered in at least six functional areas: legal contracting, manufacturing or service production, marketing, accounting, financing, and human resources.


Restructuring state enterprises

In recent decades, states modeled some of their
asset In financial accountancy, financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned or controlled by a business or an economic entity. It is anything (tangible or intangible) that can be used to produce positive economic value. Assets represent value ...
s and enterprises after business enterprises. In 2003, for example, the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billion ...

People's Republic of China
modeled 80% of its
state-owned enterprise A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. Defining characteristics of SOEs are ...
s on a company-type management system. Many state institutions and enterprises in China and Russia have transformed into joint-stock companies, with part of their shares being listed on public stock markets. Business process management (BPM) is a holistic management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients. BPM attempts to improve processes continuously. It can, therefore, be described as a "process optimization process". It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, effective and capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach.


Organization and regulation

Most legal
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...
s specify the forms of ownership that a business can take, creating a body of
commercial law Commercial law, also known as mercantile law or trade law, is the body of law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A sys ...
for each type. The major factors affecting how a business is organized are usually: * The size and scope of the business firm and its structure, management, and ownership, broadly analyzed in the
theory of the firmThe theory of the firm consists of a number of economics, economic theories that explain and predict the nature of the firm, company, or corporation, including its existence, behaviour, structure, and relationship to the Market (economics), market. ...
. Generally, a smaller business is more flexible, while larger businesses, or those with wider ownership or more formal structures, will usually tend to be organized as corporations or (less often) partnerships. In addition, a business that wishes to raise money on a
stock market A stock market, equity market, or share market is the aggregation of buyers and sellers of stocks (also called shares), which represent ownership claims on businesses; these may include ''securities'' listed on a public stock exchange, as we ...

stock market
or to be owned by a wide range of people will often be required to adopt a specific legal form to do so. * The sector and country. Private profit-making businesses are different from government-owned bodies. In some countries, certain businesses are legally obliged to be organized in certain ways. *
Tax advantage Tax advantage refers to the economic bonus which applies to certain accounts or investment To invest is to allocate money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George II ...
s. Different structures are treated differently in tax law and may have advantages for this reason. * Disclosure and compliance requirements. Different business structures may be required to make less or more information public (or report it to relevant authorities) and may be bound to comply with different rules and regulations. * Control and coordination requirements. In function of the risk and complexity of the tasks to organize, a business is organized through a set of formal and informal mechanisms. In particular,
contract A contract is a legally binding agreement that defines and governs the rights and duties between or among its parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview; ...
ual and relational governance can help mitigate
opportunism Opportunism is the practice of taking advantage of circumstances – with little regard for principles or with what the consequences are for others. Opportunist actions are expedient actions guided primarily by self-interested motives. The term c ...
as well as support communication and information sharing. Many businesses are operated through a separate entity such as a corporation or a partnership (either formed with or without limited liability). Most legal jurisdictions allow people to organize such an entity by filing certain charter documents with the relevant Secretary of State or equivalent and complying with certain other ongoing obligations. The relationships and legal rights of
shareholder A shareholder (in the United States often referred to as stockholder) of a corporation A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company—authorized by the State (polity), state to act as a single entity (a legal en ...
s, limited partners, or members are governed partly by the charter documents and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the entity is organized. Generally speaking, shareholders in a corporation, limited partners in a limited partnership, and members in a limited liability company are shielded from
personal liability Personal may refer to: Aspects of persons' respective individualities * Privacy * Personality * Personal, personal advertisement, variety of classified advertisement used to find romance or friendship Companies * Personal, Inc., a Washington, D ...
for the debts and obligations of the entity, which is legally treated as a separate "person". This means that unless there is misconduct, the owner's own possessions are strongly protected in law if the business does not succeed. Where two or more individuals own a business together but have failed to organize a more specialized form of vehicle, they will be treated as a general partnership. The terms of a partnership are partly governed by a partnership agreement if one is created, and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located. No paperwork or filing is necessary to create a partnership, and without an agreement, the relationships and legal rights of the partners will be entirely governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located. A single person who owns and runs a business is commonly known as a ''sole proprietor'', whether that person owns it directly or through a formally organized entity. Depending on the business needs, an adviser can decide what kind is proprietorship will be most suitable. A few relevant factors to consider in deciding how to operate a business include: # General partners in a partnership (other than a limited liability partnership), plus anyone who personally owns and operates a business without creating a separate legal entity, are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. # Generally, corporations are required to pay tax just like "real" people. In some tax systems, this can give rise to so-called
double taxationDouble taxation is the levying of tax by two or more jurisdictions on the same income (in the case of income tax An income tax is a tax imposed on individuals or entities (taxpayers) in respect of the income or profits earned by them (commonly call ...
, because first the corporation pays tax on the profit, and then when the corporation distributes its profits to its owners, individuals have to include dividends in their income when they complete their personal tax returns, at which point a second layer of income tax is imposed. # In most countries, there are laws that treat small corporations differently from large ones. They may be exempt from certain legal filing requirements or labor laws, have simplified procedures in specialized areas, and have simplified, advantageous, or slightly different tax treatment. # "Going public" through a process known as an
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investor An institutional investor is an entity which pools money to purchase Security (finance), securities, r ...
(IPO) means that part of the business will be owned by members of the public. This requires the organization as a distinct entity, to disclose information to the public, and adhering to a tighter set of laws and procedures. Most public entities are corporations that have sold shares, but increasingly there are also public LLC's that sell units (sometimes also called shares), and other more exotic entities as well, such as, for example,
real estate investment trust A real estate investment trust (REIT) is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. REITs own many types of commercial real estate, including office building, office and apartment buildings, warehouses, hospitals ...
s in the US, and unit trusts in the UK. A general partnership cannot "go public".


Commercial law

A very detailed and well-established body of rules that evolved over a very long period of time applies to commercial transactions. The need to regulate trade and commerce and resolve business disputes helped shape the creation of law and courts. The
Code of Hammurabi The Code of Hammurabi is a Babylonian legal text composed 1755–1750 BC. It is the longest, best-organised, and best-preserved legal text from the ancient Near East. It is written in the Old Babylonian dialect of Akkadian, purportedly by Ham ...

Code of Hammurabi
dates back to about 1772 BC for example and contains provisions that relate, among other matters, to
shipping Freight transport is the physical process of transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one location to another. In other words ...

shipping
costs and dealings between merchants and
broker A broker is a person or firm who arranges transactions between a Purchasing, buyer and a sales, seller for a commission (remuneration), commission when the deal is executed. A broker who also acts as a seller or as a buyer becomes a :wikt:principa ...
s. The word "corporation" derives from the Latin ''corpus'', meaning body, and the
Maurya Empire The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age list of ancient great powers, historical power in South Asia based in Magadha, founded by Chandragupta Maurya in 322 BCE, and existing in loose-knit fashion until 185 BCE. Quote: "Ma ...
in Iron-Age India accorded legal rights to business entities. In many countries, it is difficult to compile all the laws that can affect a business into a single reference source. Laws can govern the treatment of labour and employee relations, worker protection and safety, discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, and the minimum wage, as well as unions, worker compensation, and working hours and leave. Some specialized businesses may also require licenses, either due to laws governing entry into certain trades, occupations or professions, that require special education or to raise revenue for local governments. Professions that require special licenses include law, medicine, piloting aircraft, selling liquor, radio broadcasting, selling investment securities, selling used cars, and roofing. Local jurisdictions may also require special licenses and taxes just to operate a business. Some businesses are subject to ongoing special regulation, for example,
public utilities A public utility company (usually just utility) is an organization that maintains the infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of fundamental facilities and systems that support the sustainable functionality of households and firms. Serving a ...
, investment securities, banking, insurance,
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution (business), distribution of sound, audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic medium (communication), mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio ...
,
aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight Flight or flying is the process by which an object (physics), object motion (physics), moves through a space without contacting any planetary surface, either within an atmosphere (i.e. ...
, and health care providers. Environmental regulations are also very complex and can affect many businesses.


Capital

When businesses need to raise money (called
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
), they sometimes offer
securities A security is a tradable financial asset. The term commonly refers to any form of financial instrument, but its legal definition varies by jurisdiction. In some countries and languages people commonly use the term "security" to refer to any form ...
for sale. Capital may be raised through private means, by an
initial public offering An initial public offering (IPO) or stock market launch is a public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investor An institutional investor is an entity which pools money to purchase Security (finance), securities, r ...
or IPO on a
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
, or in other ways. Major stock exchanges include the
Shanghai Stock Exchange The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) is a stock exchange based in the city of Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered m ...
,
Singapore Exchange Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX, ) is an investment holding company located in Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one d ...
,
Hong Kong Stock Exchange The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK, also known as Hong Kong Stock Exchange) is a stock exchange based in Hong Kong. It is the world's largest bourse in terms of market capitalization, surpassing Chicago-based CME. As of the end of 2020, it ...
,
New York Stock Exchange The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE, nicknamed "The Big Board") is an American stock exchange in the Financial District, Manhattan, Financial District of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the List of stock exchanges, world's largest st ...

New York Stock Exchange
and
NASDAQ The Nasdaq Stock Market () is an American stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), secur ...
(the USA), the
London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange (LSE) is a stock exchange in the City of London The City of London is a City status in the United Kingdom, city, Ceremonial counties of England, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the histori ...
(UK), the
Tokyo Stock Exchange#REDIRECT Tokyo Stock Exchange 150px, Logo used prior to JPX merger The Tokyo Stock Exchange (), abbreviated as Tosho () or TSE/TYO, is a stock exchange located in Tokyo Tokyo ( , ; Japanese language, Japanese: 東京, ''Tōkyō'' ), offi ...
(Japan), and
Bombay Stock Exchange BSE Limited, formerly known as the Bombay Stock Exchange is an Indian stock exchange located on Dalal Street in Mumbai. Established in 1875, it is Asia's oldest stock exchange. The BSE is the world's 7th largest stock exchange with an overall ma ...
(India). Most countries with capital markets have at least one. Businesses that have gone public are subject to regulations concerning their internal governance, such as how executive officers' compensation is determined, and when and how information is disclosed to shareholders and to the public. In the United States, these regulations are primarily implemented and enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other western nations have comparable regulatory bodies. The regulations are implemented and enforced by the China Securities Regulation Commission (CSRC) in China. In Singapore, the regulatory authority is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and in Hong Kong, it is the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The proliferation and increasing complexity of the laws governing business have forced increasing specialization in corporate law. It is not unheard of for certain kinds of corporate transactions to require a team of five to ten attorneys due to sprawling regulation. Commercial law spans general corporate law, employment and labor law, health-care law, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, tax law, employee benefit plans, food and drug regulation, intellectual property law on copyrights, patents, trademarks, telecommunications law, and financing. Other types of capital sourcing include crowdsourcing on the Internet, venture capital, bank loans, and debentures.


Intellectual property

Businesses often have important "
intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more than others. The most well-known types are copyright ...
" that needs protection from competitors for the company to stay profitable. This could require
patent A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of years in exchange for publishing an sufficiency of disclosure, enabling disclo ...

patent
s,
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to copy and distribute a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyrigh ...

copyright
s,
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-mark) is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual pr ...

trademark
s, or preservation of
trade secret Trade secrets are a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect. There are many types of intellectual property, and some countries recognize more ...
s. Most businesses have names, logos, and similar branding techniques that could benefit from trademarking. Patents and copyrights in the United States are largely governed by federal law, while trade secrets and trademarking are mostly a matter of state law. Because of the nature of intellectual property, a business needs protection in every jurisdiction in which they are concerned about competitors. Many countries are signatories to international
treaties A treaty is a formal legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizations, but can sometimes include individuals, business entities, and other Leg ...

treaties
concerning intellectual property, and thus companies registered in these countries are subject to national laws bound by these treaties. In order to protect trade secrets, companies may require employees to sign noncompete clauses which will impose limitations on an employee's interactions with stakeholders, and competitors.


Trade union

A trade union (or labor union) is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade, improving safety standards, achieving higher pay and benefits such as health care and retirement, increasing the number of employees an employer assigns to complete the work, and better
working conditions{{Short description, 1=Overview of and topical guide to working time and conditions This is a list of topics on working time and conditions. Legislation * See :Employment law Working time * See :Working time * Flextime Working conditions *Biosaf ...
. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (
rank and file Rank and file may refer to: *A military term relating to the horizontal "ranks" (rows) and vertical "files" (columns) of individual foot-soldiers, exclusive of the officers *A term derived from the above used to refer to enlisted rank troops, as opp ...
members) and negotiates labor contracts (
collective bargaining Collective bargaining is a process of negotiation between employers and a group of employees aimed at agreements to regulate working salaries, working conditions, benefits, and other aspects of workers' compensation and rights for workers. The int ...
) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their
employment Employment is the relationship between two parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview; cropped away black border edge.jpg, 300px, ''Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' ( ...

employment
". ch. I This may include the negotiation of
wage A wage is the distribution from an employer of a ''security'' (expected return or profits derived solely from others) paid to an employee. Like interest is paid out to an investor on his investments, a wage is paid (from company earnings) to th ...

wage
s, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing, and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies.


See also


References


External links

{{Authority control Entrepreneurship Main topic articles