A business is an organization devoted to the commercial production and sale of goods and services. It can be a for-profit entity or a non-profit enterprise. This is a broad category, ranging from sole proprietorships to large multinational corporations. Businesses have many functions, including marketing, product manufacturing, distribution, finance and information technology.
Some businesses are more than the sum of their parts, such as a retail giant like Walmart or Apple, and a social good cause, such as the nonprofit Red Cross. In addition to profit making, the business may have aspirational goals, such as improving quality and reducing waste.
Getting a business off the ground requires a capital investment. The most common businesses are limited liability companies, partnerships and sole proprietorships. All of these businesses have legal regulations and a formal structure, requiring direction and management.
The modern day definition of a business is a for-profit entity that engages in industrial and/or commercial activities. Examples of this type of organization include retail stores, supermarkets, automobile manufacturers, financial institutions and other business-to-business enterprises. Several types of businesses also operate within single industries, such as advertising, telecommunications and hospitality.
A small percentage of business startups survive for more than a year. However, the majority of small businesses go under within the first 24 months. Consequently, it is vital to develop a solid plan of action before venturing into the biz.
One example of a business that has survived the test of time is the coffee chain Starbucks. Another example of a reputable business is the University of Berlin, which was founded in 1809 by Wilhelm von Humboldt.