An activity or organization where goods and/or services are exchanged with customers, in order to make a profit, although some business can also be non-profit.

The etymology of “business” relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or a society doing commercially viable and profitable work. This term has a few usages, depending on the scope: 1. The singular usage meaning a particular organization. 2. The generalized usage referring to a particular market sector 3. The broadest meaning, which embraces all activity by the community of suppliers of goods and services. As mentioned earlier in the definition, there may be more than one type of business; it can either be privately owned, as with the vast majority of the cases, non-for-profit or state-owned. If the business is owned by more than one individual it may be referred to as company. Depending on the sector that the business is in, we can find:

  • Agriculture and mining businesses: concerned with the production of raw material and commodities, such as edible plants, animals or minerals.
  • Financial businesses: it includes banks and other companies that generate profit through investment and the management of capital.
  • Information businesses: such as movie studios, publishers and packaged software companies. They generate profit from the sale of intellectual property.
  • Manufacturers: companies that produce products that are later on sold at a profit. The goods can either be made from raw materials or component parts.
  • Real estate businesses: the selling, renting and developing of properties associated with land, residential homes and other kind of buildings.
  • Retailers and distributors: they act as middle-men in getting the goods produced by manufacturers to the intended consumer, generating a profit as a result of providing sales or distribution services.
  • Service businesses: it offers intangible goods or services, generating a profit by charging for labor or other services provided to the government, customers or other businesses.
  • Transportation business: they deliver goods or individuals from location to location. They generate a profit on the transportation costs.
  • Utilities: produce public services (e.g. electricity, waste treatment, etc.), usually under governmental authorization.