Types of Businesses


Business is an economic activity undertaken regularly in exchange for remuneration (wages/salaries). It helps in fulfilment of human financial, monetary and psychological needs. A person engaged in business tries to earn profits from the trade by minimizing the cost and maximizing production. It also focuses on customer satisfaction.

Business can be of many types, and it may either be a for-profit or not-for-profit enterprise. For-profit businesses return profit to their owners while not-for-profits invest their profits in achieving a particular goal or improving infrastructure. Regardless of the type of business, it is an important part of an economy.

There are three primary types of business structures – sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation. A sole proprietorship is owned by one person and operates for his/her benefit. The owner may be the only person who manages the business, or he/she may hire employees to help him/her run it. In a partnership, two or more persons come together to form a legal entity and share profits and losses equally. Partnerships can be limited or unlimited. In limited partnerships, partners are protected from unlimited liability by a legal concept known as limited liability.

A corporation is a separate legal entity that exists independently from its owners and operates under the law. Its owners are represented by shares of stock, and it is governed by a board of directors that is elected by the shareholders. Corporations are typically used for larger, more established businesses.

Identify the needs of your customers and what differentiates your business from your competition. List any unique resources your company will leverage to create value for your customers, such as a dedicated support team, special discounts, or an innovative technology. Be sure to include any programs your business offers for underserved groups, such as women, veterans, Native Americans, and HUBZone firms.