How to Define a Business

Businesses are everywhere. They are the units that perform most of the economic activity in our economy. Most businesses exist to generate a profit. There are some businesses that exist to perform a function other than profit, such as cooperatives and non-profit organisations. The traditional definition of a business is an entity that brings together time, effort and capital in order to produce a profit.

There are many different ways of classifying businesses but here are the main types:


Businesses can either be privately owned or publicly owned by the government. Government usually regulates business for a variety of purposes. This will include collecting corporate taxes. Also certain business pose a risk to the public and so must be regulated. Some businesses, especially extraction and manufacturing but also others, have a significant impact on the environment. If they were left unregulated, they could, while carrying out their functions for profit, do irreparable harm to the environment. Others, such as drug companies and pharmaceuticals must be regulated so that safety and health standards can be maintained. Drugs must be monitored so that any that begin to cause serious side effects are quickly taken off the market.

Most people hold the view that it would not be successful to have businesses regulate themselves when it comes to vital areas of the public interest.

How to Define a Business

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