What Is Business? Definition Of Business, Business Meaning

Unveiling the Power of Business: Definition, Meaning, and More. Explore the essence and intricacies of the business world in a concise, comprehensive article.

18 Jun,2023 16:17 IST 3820
What Is Business? Definition Of Business, Business Meaning

A business is an economic activity that involves the exchange, purchase, sale, or creation of goods and services with the goal of profit and customer satisfaction. Businesses form the backbone of any economy.

They can be for-profit in nature and exist to make money or non-profit organisations that aim to help a social cause.

There are a number of options in which the businesses can be structured such as limited liability firms, corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships. While some businesses operate as tiny operations in a single industry, others are massive operations that span a variety of industries globally.

Each business type has its own unique features including various legal and tax structures that correspond with each. Therefore, one must do thorough research on which business structure is best suited to their specific business and the implications of their decision.

To set up a business one needs to have a business plan before they can start operations. The plan is a formal document which has outlined the business’ goals and objectives and how these will be achieved. They are especially handy when a business needs to borrow funds from banks or NBFCs.

There should also be a proper legal structure to set up a corporation, for which a number of permits and licenses are required. A corporation is defined as a legal entity created by individuals, stockholders, or shareholders, with the purpose of operating for profit.

Many countries view corporations as having the same legal status as people, which entitles them to possess property, incur debt, and face legal action.

Types Of Businesses

By Structure

Sole Proprietorship: In this type of business, a single person is both the owner and the operator. The owner and the company are not legally divided in any way. Therefore, the owner is responsible for any legal and tax obligations.

Partnership: This is a type of business where two or more persons operate it jointly. The resources and money are contributed by the partners, who subsequently split the profits or losses among themselves.

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Corporation: In such a business, a group of people act as a single entity. Owners are commonly referred to as shareholders who acquire a corporation's common stock for some consideration.

Limited Liability Company (LLC): This type of business structure incorporates aspects of both a corporation and a partnership or sole proprietorship. Similar to a corporation, an LLC has limited liability for its members, which means that in the event that the LLC is unable to pay its debts, the member's private assets are shielded from creditors. An LLC is also reasonably simple to establish and run, much like a partnership or sole proprietorship.

By Size

Small Business: Small scale industries or small businesses are those that produce goods and services on a small scale. All the management works are controlled by the owner or owners and are usually labour intensive. The reach is mostly limited such as a local shop, restaurant, or industry located in one area.

Mid-sized Business: A midsize business is a medium-sized enterprise that is bigger than a small firm but not significant enough to qualify as a large enterprise. To be eligible as a midsize business, a corporation must meet specified revenue, or total annual income, requirements and have a specific number of employees.

Large Enterprises: This business category has large operations and high economies of scale. They have a sizeable employee base and workforce, and generate huge amounts of revenue. They may target national or even international markets.

Business Industries: Businesses can operate in a variety of industries. The specific industry can be used by a corporation to describe its operations. For example, the real estate business, advertising business, or mattress production business are examples of industries

The term business is often used interchangeably with the daily operations and the total formation of the company. It is used to indicate transactions concerning an underlying service or product.

Different Types of Business Structures

Choosing a business structure is the foundational step for any entrepreneur. Each option offers distinct advantages and comes with its own set of legal implications. Let's explore the most common types:

Sole Proprietorship:

This is a simple setup with just one owner. You'll enjoy easy management, but there's no separation between your personal and business finances. This means you're personally liable for any debts or lawsuits.

Limited Liability Company (LLC):

This hybrid combines a partnership's flexibility with a corporation's liability protection. LLC profits pass through to the owners' tax returns (like a partnership), but the owners' personal assets are protected from business debts (like a corporation).


In partnership, the business owner teams up with one or more business entities to share the workload, skills, and profits. Profits and losses pass through to each partner's personal tax return. Similar to a sole proprietorship, partners hold personal liability for the business.

General Partnerships (GP) offer the simplest structure for starting a business with two or more individuals. Partners share ownership, profits, and losses equally and are all personally liable for the business's debts. This means their personal assets, like savings or homes, could be used to cover business obligations if necessary. While straightforward to set up, the unlimited liability aspect can be a significant risk factor for partners.

Limited Liability Partnerships:

Also referred to as (LLPs), they balance flexibility and protection. Similar to GPs, partners manage the business and share profits and losses. However, LLPs offer limited liability protection, shielding partners' personal assets from business debts unless they personally guarantee them. This structure allows for more flexibility in defining profit-sharing and decision-making roles among partners compared to traditional corporations.

Limited Partnerships:

This type of partnership caters to scenarios where investors seek involvement without full management responsibility. LPs have two partner classes: general partners who manage the business with unlimited liability and limited partners who contribute capital but have limited involvement and liability. This structure is often used to attract investors who want to participate in potential profits without risking their personal assets beyond their initial investment.


This structure creates a separate legal entity from its owners (shareholders). Shareholders invest and own portions of the company (stock), but their personal assets are shielded from business liabilities. While corporations offer limited liability, they face double taxation, meaning profits are taxed at the corporate level and again when distributed to shareholders as dividends.


Setting up and running a business takes a lot of time and work, as well as navigating bureaucratic red tape and having enough financial resources. To start any form of business, an entrepreneur will need financial resources. The business owner must determine how much capital is needed to start and run the company.

The founders have the option to borrow money from a bank or non-banking financial company in addition to putting part of their own money into the business.

Reputable lenders like IIFL Finance provide small businesses with tailored loans to assist them get started or for working capital to sustain and expand the business.

If you choose an established lender like IIFL Finance, you can obtain a loan through a straightforward online process with little documentation. Additionally, IIFL Finance provides flexible repayment choices and affordable interest rates.


1. What are the three main types of businesses?

While there are many business structures, three main categories exist: Sole Proprietorships: Owned and operated by a single individual, offering ease of setup but with unlimited personal liability. Partnerships: Owned and managed by two or more individuals, sharing profits and losses with varying degrees of liability depending on the specific structure (e.g., general vs. limited liability). Corporations: Separate legal entities from their owners, offering limited liability protection for shareholders but with more complex structures and regulations.

2. What is business in terms of size and type?

This refers to two separate aspects of a business: Size: Measured by factors like revenue, number of employees, or market share. It can be categorized as micro, small, medium, or large. Type: Refers to the industry or sector the business operates in, such as retail, manufacturing, technology, or healthcare.

3. What is business proprietorship and what is the role of a proprietor?

A business proprietorship is a business owned and operated by a single individual. A proprietor is the sole owner and operator of a sole proprietorship. He/she is responsible for all aspects of the business, including making decisions, managing finances, and bearing full legal and financial responsibility.

4. Which bank gives business loans easily?

There's no single bank known for "easy" business loans. Loan approval depends on various factors like the business's financial health, creditworthiness, loan purpose, and the specific bank's lending criteria. Comparing loan options and requirements from different banks is crucial to find the best fit for your business needs.

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