A business is well defined as any entity or organization that engages in commercial, professional, or occupational activities for profit. Companies can be either for-profit or non-profit entities that function to meet a social objective or further an environmental cause. The activities of a business are conducted in a marketplace and have organizational goals and objectives. A business is also the term used to refer to the totality of the activities performed by a business and the people who perform these activities (its employees).
In addition to these broader definitions, there are also specific legal standards that apply to businesses. Generally, a business is either a sole proprietorship to a partnership, a general partnership, or a corporation. Each of these structures has its own advantages and disadvantages. A sole proprietorship and a partnership are considered pass-through corporations while corporations are considered C corporations. A sole proprietorship has the advantage of being immediately passed through to the next owner, whereas a corporation remains registered with the state throughout the life of the business.
Strategic management is one of the best tools available to businesses that wish to increase their profits. It is often used as a means to describe a set of practices that assist businesses in identifying and establishing their strategic objectives and aligning their activities so that they achieve maximum results. In business, strategic management is essential because it identifies the key processes, products, and/or services that provide the greatest return on investment from a limited budget.
Another area that is commonly referred to when discussing commercial law and intellectual property is the law of trademarks. Trademarks provide a useful tool for businesses to help promote their main product or service. This is primarily because it enables them to separate their brand from those of their competitors. A trademark is also a name, symbol, phrase or design that becomes the exclusive property of the business and will remain so unless it is bought out by another entity. The main article regarding trademarks can be found in theents section.
Corporate taxes are often used as a means to classify businesses. They differ greatly from individual tax liabilities and can be calculated as a percentage of the income of the business. A good example of a corporate tax liability is where the business entity is formed through a process that does not result in a power of sale, such as a bank account. Another common example is where the business entity is established through a partnership. Business income is often taxed as though the business structure were a sole proprietorship.
There are many different types of partnerships. Some examples include general partnerships, limited partnership, limited liability partnership. Some business owners elect to be treated as sole proprietorships while others elect to be treated as partnerships. When using flow-through taxation, a business may only receive payment if all of the partners in the partnership actually receive an income or profit from the business. This type of taxation is often used when there is a partnership where one partner makes significantly more than the other partner and therefore receives the greater amount of payment.