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Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling
product 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 ...
s (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 entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared goals. ...
. 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 inv ...
, as well as
corporate tax A corporate tax, also called corporation tax or company tax, is a direct tax imposed by a jurisdiction on the income or capital of corporations or analogous legal entities. Many countries impose such taxes at the national level, and a similar tax m ...
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 ''juris'' 'law' + ''dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue (its ). In federations like the United St ...
, 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 sole ...
, 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 where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other ...
. A sole proprietor has unlimited liability for all obligations incurred by the business, whether from
operating costOperating costs or operational costs, are the expenses which are related to the operation of a business, or to the operation of a device, component, piece of equipment or facility. They are the cost of resources used by an organization just to mainta ...
s or
judgment Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication'' which means the evaluation of evidence to make a decision. Judgement is also the ability to make considered decisions. The term has four distinct uses: * Informal – opi ...
s against the business. All
asset In 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 of ownership that can be ...
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. Inventory management is a discipline primarily about specifying the shape ...
,
manufacturing Manufacturing is the production of goods through the use of labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from h ...
equipment, or
retail Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Retailers satisfy demand identified through a supply chain. The term "retailer" is typically applied where a se ...
fixtures, as well as any
real property In 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 improvements or fixtures) integrated with or affixed to the land, including crops, b ...
owned by the sole proprietor. * Partnership: A
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, businesses, interest-based organizations, schools, governments or ...
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 similar to a general partnership except that while a general partnership must have at least two general partners (GPs), a limited partnership must have at least one GP and at least one limited pa ...
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 partnerships and corporations. In an LLP, each partner is not r ...
s. * Corporation: The owners of 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 legal context) and rec ...
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 inv ...
and the business has a separate
legal personality Law is a system of rules created and enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been variously descr ...
from its owners. Corporations can be either
government-owned State ownership, also called government ownership and public ownership, is the ownership of an industry, asset, or enterprise by the state or a public body representing a community as opposed to an individual or private party. Public ownership sp ...
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 oper ...
s. A privately owned, for-profit corporation is owned by its
shareholder A shareholder (also known as stockholder) is an individual or institution (including a corporation) that legally owns one or more shares of the share capital of a public or private corporation. Shareholders may be referred to as members of a corpor ...
s, who elect a
board of directors A board of directors is a group of people who jointly supervise the activities of an organization, which can be either a for-profit or a nonprofit organization such as a business, nonprofit organization, or a government agency. The powers, dut ...
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, with publicly traded
shares In financial markets, a share is a unit used as mutual funds, limited partnerships, and real estate investment trusts. Share capital refers to all of the shares of an enterprise. The owner of shares in the company is a shareholder (or stockholder ...
listed on a
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. * Cooperative: Often referred to as a "co-op", a
cooperative A cooperative (also known as co-operative, co-op, or coop) is "an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned enterprise".consumer cooperatives or
worker cooperative A worker cooperative is a cooperative owned and self-managed by its workers. This control may mean a firm where every worker-owner participates in decision-making in a democratic fashion, or it may refer to one in which management is elected by eve ...
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 and ...
. *
Limited liability companies A limited liability company (LLC) is the US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. ...
(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 or to bring in enough revenue to cover its expenses. A profitable business can fail if it does not generate adequate cash flow to meet e ...
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, a company limited by guarantee (CLG) is a type of corporation used primarily (but not exclusively) for non-profit organisations that require legal personality. A company limited by guarantee does not us ...
: 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 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. England is separated from continent ...
. A company limited by guarantee may be with or without having
share capital__NOTOC__ A corporation's share capitalGlossary on Trade Financing Terms - S
or capital ...
. * A
company limited by shares A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity representing an association of people, whether natural, legal or a mixture of both, with a specific objective. Company members share a common purpose and unite to achieve specific, declared goals. ...
: 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 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. England is separated from continent ...
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 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 ...
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 US-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. ...
: "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 (corporation) incorporated with or without a share capital (and similar to its limited company counterpart) but where the legal liability of the members or shareholders is not l ...
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. * Charter corporations: 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 of the United Kingdom and the model on which most modern central banks have been based. Established in 1694 to act as the English Government's banker, and still one of the bankers for the Government of the ...

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 jurisdictions, and the Republic of Ireland. It is a limited liability company whose shares may be freely ...
) 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 (also known as stockholder) is an individual or institution (including a corporation) that legally owns one or more shares of the share capital of a public or private corporation. Shareholders may be referred to as members of a corpor ...
s. In a company limited by guarantee, this will be the guarantors. Some
offshore jurisdictions An offshore financial centre or OFC is defined as a "country or jurisdiction that provides financial services to nonresidents on a scale that is incommensurate with the size and the financing of its domestic economy." "Offshore" does not ref ...
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, group or sometimes a division thereof, which engages in offshoring business processe ...
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 stock which are intended to be freely traded on a stock exchange or in o ...
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#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
which imposes listing requirements/
Listing Rules The Listing Rules (LR) are a set of regulations applicable to any company listed on a United Kingdom stock exchange, subject to the oversight of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Listing Rules set out mandatory standards for any company wis ...
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 that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operation by influencing or electing its board of directors. Companies that operate under this management are deemed subsidiaries of the parent co ...
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 sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled peo ...
, 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 beams and planks, a stage in the process of wood production. Lumber is mainly used for structural purposes but has many other uses as well. There are two main types ...
,
oil An oil is any nonpolar chemical substance that is a viscous liquid at ambient temperatures and is both hydrophobic (does not mix with water, literally "water fearing") and lipophilic (mixes with other oils, literally "fat loving"). Oils have a ...
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 the min ...
businesses that extract natural resources and raw materials, such as
wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the stems and roots of trees and other woody plants. It is an organic materiala natural composite of cellulose fibers that are strong in tension and embedded in a matrix of lignin that ...

wood
,
petroleum Petroleum (), also known as crude oil and oil, is a naturally occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is commonly refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separate ...
,
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, but commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carb ...
, ores, 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. (2 ...

mineral
s. *
Financial services Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance industry, which encompasses a broad range of businesses that manage money, including credit unions, banks, credit-card companies, insurance companies, accountancy companies, cons ...
businesses include
bank A bank is a financial institution that accepts 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 markets. Because b ...
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 confused ...
s,
credit union A credit union, a type of financial institution similar to a commercial bank, is a member-owned financial cooperative, controlled by its members and operated on a not-for-profit basis. Credit unions generally provide services to members similar ...
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. The ...
,
insurance companies Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, an insurance com ...
,
asset In 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 of ownership that can be ...
and
investment companies An investment company is a financial institution principally engaged in investing in securities. These companies in the United States are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and must be registered under the Investment Company Ac ...
such as
private-equity firm A private-equity firm is an investment management company that provides financial backing and makes investments in the private equity of startup or operating companies through a variety of loosely affiliated investment strategies including leverag ...
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, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping ce ...
s,
sovereign wealth fund A sovereign wealth fund (SWF), sovereign investment fund, or social wealth fund is a state-owned investment fund that invests in real and financial assets such as stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals, or in alternative investments such as p ...
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 c ...
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 institu ...
s,
index fund#REDIRECT Index fund#REDIRECT Index fund {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s, and
hedge fund A hedge fund is a pooled investment fund that trades in relatively liquid assets and is able to make extensive use of more complex trading, portfolio-construction and risk management techniques in an attempt to improve performance, such as short ...
s,
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s, and other companies that generate profits through investment and management of
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter, an upper-case letter in any type of writing * Capital city, the area of a country, province, region, or state, regarded as enjoying primary status, usually but not always the seat of the governm ...
. *
Entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and 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 developed over thousands o ...
companies and
mass media Mass media refers to a diverse array of media technologies that reach a large audience via mass communication. The technologies through which this communication takes place include a variety of outlets. Broadcast media transmit information el ...
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 facility or facilities that are used to make films, which is handled by the production c ...
s and
production house Production may be: Economics and business * Production (economics) * Production, the act of manufacturing goods * Production, in the outline of industrial organization, the act of making products (goods and services) * Production as a statistic, g ...
s, mass media companies such as
cable television network Cable television is a system of delivering television programming to consumers via radio frequency (RF) signals transmitted through coaxial cables, or in more recent systems, light pulses through fibre-optic cables. This contrasts with broadcas ...
s, online
digital media Digital media means any media that are encoded in machine-readable formats. Digital media can be created, viewed, distributed, modified, and preserved on a digital electronics device. Digital can be defined as any data represented with a series o ...
agencies,
talent agencies Talent has two principal meanings: * Talent (measurement), an ancient unit of mass and value * Talent (skill), a group of aptitudes useful for some activities; talents may refer to aptitudes themselves or to possessors of those talents Talent may a ...
,
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 publication containing written 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 politics, business, sports and ...
,
book A book is a medium for recording information in the form of writing or images, typically composed of many pages (made of papyrus, parchment, vellum, or paper) bound together and protected by a cover. The technical term for this physical arrange ...
and
magazine publishing A magazine is a periodical publication which is printed in gloss-coated and matte paper. Magazines are generally published on a regular schedule and contain a variety of content. They are generally financed by advertising, by a purchase price, b ...

magazine publishing
houses. * Industrial
manufacturers Manufacturing is the production of goods through the use of labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from h ...
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, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finished products. As feed ...
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, goods are items that satisfy human wants and provide utility, for example, to a consumer making a purchase of a satisfying product. A common distinction is made between goods which are transferable, and services, which are not trans ...
such as
cars A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people rather than goods. Cars came ...
,
buses trolleybus in Toronto , Netherlands A bus (contracted from omnibus, with variants multibus, motorbus, autobus, etc.) is a road vehicle designed to carry many passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common ty ...
,
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 patie ...
,
glass Glass is a non-crystalline, often 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 rapid cooling (quenching) of the ...
, or
aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines. Comm ...
. *
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 ...
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 physic ...
, including
land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture, habitat, and various natural resources. Some life form ...
, residential
home A home, or domicile, is a space used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, group or family. It is a fully or semi sheltered space and can have both interior and exterior aspects to it. Homes provide sheltered spaces ...
s, and other buildings. *
Retail Retail is the process of selling consumer goods or services to customers through multiple channels of distribution to earn a profit. Retailers satisfy demand identified through a supply chain. The term "retailer" is typically applied where a se ...
ers,
wholesalers Wholesaling or distributing is the sale of goods or merchandise to retailers; to industrial, commercial, institutional or other professional business users; or to other wholesalers (wholesale businesses) and related subordinated services. In gener ...
, and
distributors A distributor is an enclosed rotating shaft used in spark-ignition internal combustion engines that have mechanically timed ignition. The distributor's main function is to route secondary, or high voltage, current from the ignition coil to the s ...
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 movement of humans, animals and goods from one location to another. In other words, the action of transport is defined as a particular movement of an organism ...
ation businesses such as
railways Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to road transport, where the vehicles run on a prepared flat surface, ...
,
airline An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines utilize aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for codeshare agreements, in which t ...
s,
shipping companies Freight companies are companies that specialize in the moving (or "forwarding") of freight, or cargo, from one place to another. These companies are divided into several variant sections. For example, international freight forwarders ship goods int ...
that deliver goods and individuals to their destinations for a fee. *
Sports Sport pertains to any form of competitive physical activity or game that aims to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants and, in some cases, entertainment to spectators. Sports can, throu ...
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 public control and reg ...

Utilities
produce
public service#REDIRECT Public service#REDIRECT Public service {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s such as
water Water 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 as a solvent). It is vita ...
,
electricity Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. Electricity is related to magnetism, both being part of the phenomenon of electromagnetism, as described by ...

electricity
,
waste management Waste management (or waste disposal) includes the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport, treatment and disposal of waste, together with monitoring ...
or
sewage treatment#REDIRECT Sewage treatment#REDIRECT Sewage treatment {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
. 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. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a ...
. * 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. In the case of its broad associative definition, government normally consists of legislature, executive, and judiciary. Government is a ...
, to
consumer A consumer is a person or a group who intends to order, orders, or uses purchased goods, products, or services primarily for personal, social, family, household and similar needs, not directly related to entrepreneurial or business activities. ...
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 to act as a single entity (a legal entity recognized by private and public law 'born out of statute"; a legal person in legal context) and rec ...
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, Franciscan friar, collaborator with Leonardo da Vinci, and an early contributor to the field now known as accounting. ...
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 (e.g., person, organization, company, or government) that has a claim on the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom money is owed. The first party, in general, has provided some propert ...
s,
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 organization and coordinating the ...
, 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 or accountancy. Accountants who have demonstrated competency through their professional associations' certification exams are certified to use titles such as Chartered Accountant, Chartered Certified ...
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 in the expectation of some benefit/return in the future. In other words, to invest means owning an asset or an item with the goal of generating income from the investment or the appreciation of your investment whic ...
. It includes the dynamics of
asset In 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 of ownership that can be ...
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, retail ...
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, return is a profit on an investment. It comprises any change in value of the investment, and/or cash flows (or securities, or other investments) which the investor receives from that investment, such as interest payments, coupons, cash d ...
. Finance can be broken into three different sub categories:
public finance#REDIRECT Public finance#REDIRECT Public finance {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
,
corporate finance Corporate finance is the area of finance that deals with sources of funding, the capital structure of corporations, the actions that managers take to increase the value of the firm to the shareholders, and the tools and analysis used to allocate f ...
, 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 finan ...
. Activities also include budgeting, forecasting and lending money, and is defined as the management of money.


Manufacturing

Manufacturing Manufacturing is the production of goods through the use of labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from h ...
is the production of
merchandise Merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer. At a retail in-store level, merchandising refers to displaying products that are for sale in a creative way that entices customers to purchase more i ...
for use or sale using labour and
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, by natural forces such as wind and water, and by chemical, thermal, or electrical power, and ...
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 tools dates back hundreds of millennia, have been obser ...
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 (hence the term handicraft) or by using only ...
to
high tech High technology (high tech) or frontier technology (frontier tech) is technology that is at the cutting edge: the most advanced technology available. It can be defined as either the most complex or the newest technology on the market. The opposi ...
, but is most commonly applied to industrial 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, finished products, energy, or intermediate materials that are feedstock for future finished products. As feed ...
s are transformed into
finished good Finished goods are 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 in process # Finished goods A go ...
s on a large scale.


Marketing

Marketing is defined by the
American Marketing Association The American Marketing Association (AMA) is a professional association for marketing professionals with 30,000 members as of 2012. It has 76 professional chapters and 250 collegiate chapters across the United States. The AMA was formed in 1937 from ...
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 communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service or idea.William J. Stanton. ''Fundamentals of Marketing''. McGraw-Hill (1984). Sponsors of advertising are t ...
as well as determining product
pricing Pricing is the 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 which it could acquir ...
. 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, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss. An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, an insurance com ...
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 Sentinel species are organisms, often animals, used to detect risks to humans by providing advance warning of a danger. The terms primarily apply in the context of environmental hazards rather than those from other sources. Some animals can act as ...
" 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 organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the ...
. 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 ...
,
marketing Marketing refers to activities a company undertakes to promote the buying or selling of a product, service, or good. It is one of the primary components of business management and commerce. Marketers can direct their product to other businesse ...
management,
human resource management#REDIRECT Human resource management {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
,
strategic management In the field of management, strategic management involves the formulation and implementation of the major goals and initiatives taken by an organization's managers on behalf of stakeholders, based on consideration of resources and an assessment ...
, production management,
operations management Operations management is an area of management concerned with designing and controlling the process of production and redesigning business operations in the production of goods or services. It involves the responsibility of ensuring that business o ...
,
service management Service management in the manufacturing context, is integrated into supply chain management as the intersection between the actual sales and the customer point of view. The aim of high-performance service management is to optimize the service-in ...
, 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 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 of ownership that can be ...
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 most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
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 ''juris'' 'law' + ''dictio'' 'declaration') is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice, as defined by the kind of case, and the location of the issue (its ). In federations like the United St ...
s specify the forms of ownership that a business can take, creating a body of
commercial law Trade involves the transfer of goods or services from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system or network that allows trade as a market. An early form of trade, the Gift economy, saw the excha ...
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 economic theories that explain and predict the nature of the firm, company, or corporation, including its existence, behaviour, structure, and relationship to the market. Overview In simplified terms, t ...
. 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, a ...
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 investments that are, by statute, tax-reduced, tax-deferred, or tax-free. Examples of tax-advantaged accounts and investments include retirement plans, education savings ...
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 document between at least two parties that defines and governs the rights and duties of the parties to an agreement. A contract is legally enforceable because it meets the requirements and approval of the law. A ...
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 (also known as stockholder) is an individual or institution (including a corporation) that legally owns one or more shares of the share capital of a public or private corporation. Shareholders may be referred to as members of a corpor ...
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 taxes), asset (in the case of capital taxes), or financial transaction (in the case of sales taxes). Double liability may be mitigated in a ...
, 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 investors and usually also retail (individual) investors. An IPO is underwritten by one or more investment banks, w ...
(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, ranging from office and apartment buildings to warehouses, hospitals, shopping ce ...
s in the US, and
unit trust#REDIRECT Unit trust#REDIRECT Unit trust {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
s 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 Hammur ...

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 transporting commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea but in American English, it has been extended to refer to transport by land or ai ...
costs and dealings between merchants and
broker 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 confused ...
s. The word "corporation" derives from the Latin ''corpus'', meaning body, and the
Maurya Empire The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age 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: "Magadha power came to extend over ...
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 for a public service (often also providing a service using that infrastructure). Public utilities are subject to forms of public control and reg ...
, investment securities, banking, insurance,
broadcasting Broadcasting is the distribution of audio or video content to a dispersed audience via any electronic mass communications medium, but typically one using the electromagnetic spectrum (radio waves), in a one-to-many model. Broadcasting began with ...
,
aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes fixed-wing and rotary-wing types, morphable wings, wing-less lifting bodies, as well as lighter-than-air craft such as hot air balloons an ...
, 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, an upper-case letter in any type of writing * Capital city, the area of a country, province, region, or state, regarded as enjoying primary status, usually but not always the seat of the governm ...
), 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 investors and usually also retail (individual) investors. An IPO is underwritten by one or more investment banks, w ...
or IPO on a
stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange#REDIRECT Stock exchange {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{R from other capitalisation ...
, 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, China. It is one of the two stock exchanges operating independently in mainland China, the other being the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. The Shanghai Stock Exchange i ...
,
Singapore Exchange Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX, ) is an investment holding company located in Singapore and provides different services related to securities and derivatives trading and others. SGX is a member of the World Federation of Exchanges and the Asian ...
,
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 of Lower Manhattan in New York City. It is by far the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed comp ...
and
NASDAQ#REDIRECT Nasdaq#REDIRECT Nasdaq {{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R up ...
{{Redirect category shell, {{R from move {{R up ...

NASDAQ (the USA), the
London Stock Exchange London Stock Exchange is a stock exchange in the City of London, England. , London Stock Exchange had a market capitalisation of GBP £39 billion (US$26 billion ). It was founded in 1801, making it one of the oldest exchanges in the world. I ...
(UK), the
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, Japan. It is the third largest stock exchange in the world by aggregate market capitalization of its listed c ...
(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 NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a title 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 enabling public disclosure ...
s,
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the exclusive right to make copies of a creative work, usually for a limited time. The creative work may be in a literary, artistic, educational, or musical form. Copyright is ...

copyright
s,
trademark A trademark (also written trade mark or trade-markThe styling of ''trademark'' as a single word is predominantly used in the United States and Philippines only, while the two-word styling ''trade mark'' is used in many other countries around ...
s, or preservation of
trade secret Trade secrets are a type of intellectual property that comprise formulas, practices, processes, designs, instruments, patterns, or compilations of information that have inherent economic value because they are not generally known or readily ascert ...
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 ...
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 con ...
. 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 a relationship between two parties, usually based on contract where work is paid for, where one party, which may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit organization, co-operative or other entity is the employer and the other ...
". 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 ...
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