What Is a Business?


A business is any activity or enterprise that is entered into for profit. It includes commercial, industrial and professional activities. It may also be a non-profit organization that fulfills a charitable mission or furthers a social cause. A business can be for-profit or nonprofit, and it can range in size from a sole proprietorship to an international corporation.

The people who run businesses today are in a tight spot. They face a crisis of trust, which is crumbling like a cheap piece of china, because many people believe that companies no longer operate for the good of consumers or employees but for their own financial gain. This perception is partly based on the way they are treated by law and by accounting practices. The laws and the accounts treat them as property of their financiers, whereas the society they inhabit treats them as human beings that should be cherished and valued.

In addition, the cult of selfishness has given rise to a class of business leaders who are not only unrelentingly greedy but often seem to be indifferent or even hostile to public opinion. These are the people who make it hard for the rest of us to admire their success, and they may be the reason that so few people think that capitalism is working as well as it could.

Despite this, there is a lot of potential for business to prosper. To do so, it needs to regain people’s confidence. The first step is to stop treating its workers as its property. This will require more than just a change in compensation rules. It will mean reversing the prevailing attitude that profits are something to be minimized and assets something to be treasured and grown. It will mean recognizing that the human association which in fact produces and distributes wealth is not the association of owners, creditors and directors but a much broader one that includes consumers, employees and the community at large.

The other big thing is to get serious about the financials. It’s essential to determine start-up costs and to create a sound financial model that projects future revenue and expenses accurately. This is a key requirement for convincing investors and lenders to support your venture. Be sure to use realistic and conservative estimates, and include any hidden or indirect startup costs. This will help you avoid a major shock if your business fails. You’ll also need to decide on a legal structure for your business, choose a name, and submit any required paperwork to register the business. It’s best to check on requirements at the federal, state and local levels. If you’re starting a home business, for example, you might need to get a seller’s permit. It will take time and effort, but with a solid plan and the necessary financing, you can be well on your way to launching a successful business. Good luck!