Business

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[1][2][3][4] Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."[5]

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.

Forms

Forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, but several common entities exist:

  • Sole proprietorship: A sole proprietorship, also known as a sole trader, is owned by one person and operates for their benefit. The owner operates the business alone and may hire employees. A sole proprietor has unlimited liability for all obligations incurred by the business, whether from operating costs or judgments against the business. All assets of the business belong to a sole proprietor, including, for example, a computer infrastructure, any inventory, manufacturing equipment, or retail fixtures, as well as any real property owned by the sole proprietor.
  • Partnership: A partnership is a business owned by two or more people. In most forms of partnerships, each partner has unlimited liability for the debts incurred by the business. The three most prevalent types of for-profit partnerships are general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.[6]
  • Corporation: The owners of a corporation have limited liability and the business has a separate legal personality from its owners. Corporations can be either government-owned or privately owned, and they can organize either for profit or as nonprofit organizations. A privately owned, for-profit corporation is owned by its shareholders, who elect a board of directors to direct the corporation and hire its managerial staff. A privately owned, for-profit corporation can be either privately held by a small group of individuals, or publicly held, with publicly traded shares listed on a stock exchange.
  • Cooperative: Often referred to as a "co-op", a cooperative is a limited-liability business that can organize as for-profit or not-for-profit. A cooperative differs from a corporation in that it has members, not shareholders, and they share decision-making authority. Cooperatives are typically classified as either consumer cooperatives or worker cooperatives. Cooperatives are fundamental to the ideology of economic democracy.
  • Limited liability companies (LLC), limited liability partnerships, and other specific types of business organization protect their owners or shareholders from business failure by doing business under a separate legal entity with certain legal protections. In contrast, unincorporated businesses or persons working on their own are usually not as protected.[7][8]
  • Franchises: A franchise is a system in which entrepreneurs purchase the rights to open and run a business from a larger corporation.[9] Franchising in the United States is widespread and is a major economic powerhouse. One out of twelve retail businesses in the United States are franchised and 8 million people are employed in a franchised business.[10]
  • A company limited by guarantee: Commonly used where companies are formed for non-commercial purposes, such as clubs or charities. The members guarantee the payment of certain (usually nominal) amounts if the company goes into insolvent liquidation, but otherwise, they have no economic rights in relation to the company. This type of company is common in England. A company limited by guarantee may be with or without having share capital.
  • A company limited by shares: The most common form of the company used for business ventures. Specifically, a limited company is a "company in which the liability of each shareholder is limited to the amount individually invested" with corporations being "the most common example of a limited company."[11] This type of company is common in England and many English-speaking countries. A company limited by shares may be a
  • A company limited by guarantee with a share capital: A hybrid entity, usually used where the company is formed for non-commercial purposes, but the activities of the company are partly funded by investors who expect a return. This type of company may no longer be formed in the UK, although provisions still exist in law for them to exist.[12]
  • A limited liability company: "A company—statutorily authorized in certain states—that is characterized by limited liability, management by members or managers, and limitations on ownership transfer", i.e., L.L.C.[11] LLC structure has been called "hybrid" in that it "combines the characteristics of a corporation and of a partnership or sole proprietorship". Like a corporation, it has limited liability for members of the company, and like a partnership, it has "flow-through taxation to the members" and must be "dissolved upon the death or bankruptcy of a member".[13]
  • An unlimited company with or without a share capital: A hybrid entity, a company where the liability of members or shareholders for the debts (if any) of the company are not limited. In this case, the doctrine of a veil of incorporation does not apply.

Less common types of companies are:

  • Companies formed by letters patent: Most corporations by letters patent are corporations sole and not companies as the term is commonly understood today.
  • Charter corporations: Before the passing of modern companies legislation, these were the only types of companies. Now they are relatively rare, except for very old companies that still survive (of which there are still many, particularly many British banks), or modern societies that fulfill a quasi-regulatory function (for example, the Bank of England is a corporation formed by a modern charter).
  • Statutory companies: Relatively rare today, certain companies have been formed by a private statute passed in the relevant jurisdiction.

Note that "Ltd after the company's name signifies limited company, and PLC (public limited company) indicates that its shares are widely held."[14]

In legal parlance, the owners of a company are normally referred to as the "members". In a company limited or unlimited by shares (formed or incorporated with a share capital), this will be the shareholders. In a company limited by guarantee, this will be the guarantors. Some offshore jurisdictions have created special forms of offshore company in a bid to attract business for their jurisdictions. Examples include "segregated portfolio companies" and restricted purpose companies.

There are, however, many, many sub-categories of types of company that can be formed in various jurisdictions in the world.

Companies are also sometimes distinguished into public companies and private companies for legal and regulatory purposes. Public companies are companies whose shares can be publicly traded, often (although not always) on a stock exchange which imposes listing requirements/Listing Rules as to the issued shares, the trading of shares and a future issue of shares to help bolster the reputation of the exchange or particular market of exchange. Private companies do not have publicly traded shares, and often contain restrictions on transfers of shares. In some jurisdictions, private companies have maximum numbers of shareholders.

A parent company is a company that owns enough voting stock in another firm to control management and operations by influencing or electing its board of directors; the second company being deemed as a subsidiary of the parent company. The definition of a parent company differs by jurisdiction, with the definition normally being defined by way of laws dealing with companies in that jurisdiction.

Classifications

Activities

Accounting

Accounting is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities[15][16] such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494.[17] Accounting, which has been called the "language of business",[18] measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators.[19] Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

Finance

Finance is a field that deals with the study of investments. It includes the dynamics of assets and liabilities over time under conditions of different degrees of uncertainty and risk. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management. Finance aims to price assets based on their risk level and their expected rate of return. Finance can be broken into three different sub categories: public finance, corporate finance, and personal finance.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is the production of merchandise for use or sale using labour and machines, tools, chemical and biological processing, or formulation. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale.

Marketing

Marketing is defined by the American Marketing Association as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."[20] The term developed from the original meaning which referred literally to going to a market to buy or sell goods or services. Marketing tactics include advertising as well as determining product pricing.

With the rise in technology, marketing is further divided into a class called digital marketing. It is marketing products and services using digital technologies.

Research and development

Research and development refer to activities in connection with corporate or government innovation. Research and development constitute the first stage of development of a potential new service or product. Research and development are very difficult to manage since the defining feature of the research is that the researchers do not know in advance exactly how to accomplish the desired result.

Safety

Safety is a key business concept that is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss”.[21] Injuries cost businesses billions of dollars annually.[22] Studies have shown how company acceptance and implementation of comprehensive safety and health management systems reduce incidents, insurance costs, and workers’ compensation claims.[23] New technologies, like wearable safety devices[24] and available online safety training, continue to be developed to encourage employers to invest in protection beyond the "canary in the coal mine" and reduce the cost to businesses of protecting their employees.

Sales

Sales are activity related to selling or the number of goods or services sold in a given time period. Sales are often integrated with all lines of business and are key to a companies' success.[25]

Management

The efficient and effective operation of a business, and study of this subject, is called management. The major branches of management are financial management, marketing management, human resource management, strategic management, production management, operations management, service management, and information technology management.

Owners may manage their businesses themselves, or employ managers to do so for them. Whether they are owners or employees, managers administer three primary components of the business' value: financial resources, capital (tangible resources), and human resources. These resources are administered in at least six functional areas: legal contracting, manufacturing or service production, marketing, accounting, financing, and human resources.

Restructuring state enterprises

In recent decades, states modeled some of their assets and enterprises after business enterprises. In 2003, for example, the People's Republic of China modeled 80% of its state-owned enterprises on a company-type management system.[26] Many state institutions and enterprises in China and Russia have transformed into joint-stock companies, with part of their shares being listed on public stock markets.

Business process management (BPM) is a holistic management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients. BPM attempts to improve processes continuously. It can, therefore, be described as a "process optimization process". It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, effective and capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach.

Organization and regulation

Most legal jurisdictions specify the forms of ownership that a business can take, creating a body of commercial law for each type.

The major factors affecting how a business is organized are usually:

  • The size and scope of the business firm and its structure, management, and ownership, broadly analyzed in the theory of the firm. Generally, a smaller business is more flexible, while larger businesses, or those with wider ownership or more formal structures, will usually tend to be organized as corporations or (less often) partnerships. In addition, a business that wishes to raise money on a stock market or to be owned by a wide range of people will often be required to adopt a specific legal form to do so.
  • The sector and country. Private profit-making businesses are different from government-owned bodies. In some countries, certain businesses are legally obliged to be organized in certain ways.
  • Tax advantages. Different structures are treated differently in tax law and may have advantages for this reason.
  • Disclosure and compliance requirements. Different business structures may be required to make less or more information public (or report it to relevant authorities) and may be bound to comply with different rules and regulations.

Many businesses are operated through a separate entity such as a corporation or a partnership (either formed with or without limited liability). Most legal jurisdictions allow people to organize such an entity by filing certain charter documents with the relevant Secretary of State or equivalent and complying with certain other ongoing obligations. The relationships and legal rights of shareholders, limited partners, or members are governed partly by the charter documents and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the entity is organized. Generally speaking, shareholders in a corporation, limited partners in a limited partnership, and members in a limited liability company are shielded from personal liability for the debts and obligations of the entity, which is legally treated as a separate "person". This means that unless there is misconduct, the owner's own possessions are strongly protected in law if the business does not succeed.

Where two or more individuals own a business together but have failed to organize a more specialized form of vehicle, they will be treated as a general partnership. The terms of a partnership are partly governed by a partnership agreement if one is created, and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located. No paperwork or filing is necessary to create a partnership, and without an agreement, the relationships and legal rights of the partners will be entirely governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located. A single person who owns and runs a business is commonly known as a sole proprietor, whether that person owns it directly or through a formally organized entity. Depending on the business needs, an adviser can decide what kind is proprietorship will be most suitable.

A few relevant factors to consider in deciding how to operate a business include:

  1. General partners in a partnership (other than a limited liability partnership), plus anyone who personally owns and operates a business without creating a separate legal entity, are personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business.
  2. Generally, corporations are required to pay tax just like "real" people. In some tax systems, this can give rise to so-called double taxation, because first the corporation pays tax on the profit, and then when the corporation distributes its profits to its owners, individuals have to include dividends in their income when they complete their personal tax returns, at which point a second layer of income tax is imposed.
  3. In most countries, there are laws which treat small corporations differently from large ones. They may be exempt from certain legal filing requirements or labor laws, have simplified procedures in specialized areas, and have simplified, advantageous, or slightly different tax treatment.
  4. "Going public" through a process known as an initial public offering (IPO) means that part of the business will be owned by members of the public. This requires the organization as a distinct entity, to disclose information to the public, and adhering to a tighter set of laws and procedures. Most public entities are corporations that have sold shares, but increasingly there are also public LLC's that sell units (sometimes also called shares), and other more exotic entities as well, such as, for example, real estate investment trusts in the US, and unit trusts in the UK. A general partnership cannot "go public".

Commercial law

Downtownplazala
Offices in the Los Angeles Downtown Financial District

A very detailed and well-established body of rules that evolved over a very long period of time applies to commercial transactions. The need to regulate trade and commerce and resolve business disputes helped shape the creation of law and courts. The Code of Hammurabi dates back to about 1772 BC for example and contains provisions that relate, among other matters, to shipping costs and dealings between merchants and brokers.[27] The word "corporation" derives from the Latin corpus, meaning body, and the Maurya Empire in Iron-Age India accorded legal rights to business entities.[28]

In many countries, it is difficult to compile all the laws that can affect a business into a single reference source. Laws can govern the treatment of labour and employee relations, worker protection and safety, discrimination on the basis of age, gender, disability, race, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation, and the minimum wage, as well as unions, worker compensation, and working hours and leave.

Some specialized businesses may also require licenses, either due to laws governing entry into certain trades, occupations or professions, that require special education or to raise revenue for local governments. Professions that require special licenses include law, medicine, piloting aircraft, selling liquor, radio broadcasting, selling investment securities, selling used cars, and roofing. Local jurisdictions may also require special licenses and taxes just to operate a business.

Some businesses are subject to ongoing special regulation, for example, public utilities, investment securities, banking, insurance, broadcasting, aviation, and health care providers. Environmental regulations are also very complex and can affect many businesses.

Capital

When businesses need to raise money (called capital), they sometimes offer securities for sale.

Capital may be raised through private means, by an initial public offering or IPO on a stock exchange, or in other ways.

Major stock exchanges include the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ (the USA), the London Stock Exchange (UK), the Tokyo Stock Exchange (Japan), and Bombay Stock Exchange (India). Most countries with capital markets have at least one.

Businesses that have gone public are subject to regulations concerning their internal governance, such as how executive officers' compensation is determined, and when and how information is disclosed to shareholders and to the public. In the United States, these regulations are primarily implemented and enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other western nations have comparable regulatory bodies. The regulations are implemented and enforced by the China Securities Regulation Commission (CSRC) in China. In Singapore, the regulatory authority is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and in Hong Kong, it is the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

The proliferation and increasing complexity of the laws governing business have forced increasing specialization in corporate law. It is not unheard of for certain kinds of corporate transactions to require a team of five to ten attorneys due to sprawling regulation. Commercial law spans general corporate law, employment and labor law, health-care law, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, tax law, employee benefit plans, food and drug regulation, intellectual property law on copyrights, patents, trademarks, telecommunications law, and financing.

Other types of capital sourcing include crowdsourcing on the Internet, venture capital, bank loans, and debentures.

Intellectual property

Businesses often have important "intellectual property" that needs protection from competitors for the company to stay profitable. This could require patents, copyrights, trademarks, or preservation of trade secrets. Most businesses have names, logos, and similar branding techniques that could benefit from trademarking. Patents and copyrights in the United States are largely governed by federal law, while trade secrets and trademarking are mostly a matter of state law. Because of the nature of intellectual property, a business needs protection in every jurisdiction in which they are concerned about competitors. Many countries are signatories to international treaties concerning intellectual property, and thus companies registered in these countries are subject to national laws bound by these treaties. In order to protect trade secrets, companies may require employees to sign noncompete clauses which will impose limitations on an employee's interactions with stakeholders, and competitors.

Trade union

A trade union (or labor union) is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve common goals such as protecting the integrity of its trade, improving safety standards, achieving higher pay and benefits such as health care and retirement, increasing the number of employees an employer assigns to complete the work, and better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members (rank and file members) and negotiates labor contracts (collective bargaining) with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment".[29] This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing, and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies.

See also

References

  1. ^ Compare: American Heritage Dictionary "business [:] 1. The activity of buying and selling commodities, products, or services".
  2. ^ Longman Business English Dictionary
  3. ^ Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English "business [:] 1 [...] the activity of making money by producing or buying and selling goods, or providing services".
  4. ^ Oxford Living Dictionaries "business [:] 2 The practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce."
  5. ^ Burton's Legal Thesaurus, 4E. S.v. "business." Retrieved April 1, 2018 from https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/business
  6. ^ Holloway, S. S.; Parmigiani, A. (2014). "Friends and Profits Don't Mix: The Performance Implications of Repeated Partnerships". Academy of Management Journal. 59 (2): 460. doi:10.5465/amj.2013.0581.
  7. ^ US Small Business Administration
  8. ^ Small Business Chamber of Commerce, Inc.
  9. ^ Definition of a Franchise Business
  10. ^ hWelsh, Dianne H. B.; Desplaces, David E.; Davis, fAmy E. (2011). "A Comparison of Retail Franchises, Independent Businesses, and Purchased Existing Independent Business Startups: Lessons from the Kauffman Firm Survey". Journal of Marketing Channels. 18: 3. doi:10.1080/1046669X.2011.533109.
  11. ^ a b Black's Law and lee Dictionary. Second Pocket Edition. Bryan A. Garner, editor. West. 2001.
  12. ^ Companies Act 2006
  13. ^ root. "Limited Liability Company (LLC) Definition - Investopedia". Investopedia.
  14. ^ "Investopedia - Public Limited Company".
  15. ^ Needles, Belverd E.; Powers, Marian (2013). Principles of Financial Accounting. Financial Accounting Series (12 ed.). Cengage Learning.
  16. ^ Accounting Research Bulletins No. 7 Reports of Committee on Terminology (Report). Committee on Accounting Procedure, American Institute of Accountants. November 1940. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  17. ^ DIWAN, Jaswith. ACCOUNTING CONCEPTS & THEORIES. LONDON: MORRE. pp. 001–002. id# 94452.
  18. ^ Peggy Bishop Lane on Why Accounting Is the Language of Business, Knowledge @ Wharton High School, September 23, 2013, retrieved 25 December 2013
  19. ^ "Department of Accounting". Foster School of Business. Foster School of Business. 2013. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  20. ^ Marketing definition approved in October 2007 by the American Marketing Association: [1].
  21. ^ Definition of "safety", Merriam-Webster, updated February 2018.
  22. ^ Leigh, J. (2011). Economic Burden of Occupational Injury and Illness in the United States. Milbank Quarterly, 89(4), 728-772. DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0009.2011.00648.x
  23. ^ Rowe, Kelly P. (2007). OSHA and small businesses: A winning combination: When small businesses tap into OSHA's many resources, everyone benefits. Occupational Hazards, 69(3), 33.
  24. ^ Goldberg, S. (2016). Business Technical: Wearable Devices at Work. Business Insurance, 50(2), 1.
  25. ^ "How To Organize Your Marketing Department In The Digital Age". Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  26. ^ Major Industries. People.com
  27. ^ "Law Code of Hammurabi".
  28. ^ Vikramaditya S. Khanna. "The Economic History of the Corporate Form in Ancient India" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-19.
  29. ^ Webb, Sidney; Webb, Beatrice (1920). History of Trade Unionism. Longmans and Co. London. ch. I
Accounting

Accounting or accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial information about economic entities such as businesses and corporations. The modern field was established by the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli in 1494. Accounting, which has been called the "language of business", measures the results of an organization's economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users, including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Practitioners of accounting are known as accountants. The terms "accounting" and "financial reporting" are often used as synonyms.

Accounting can be divided into several fields including financial accounting, management accounting, external auditing, tax accounting and cost accounting. Accounting information systems are designed to support accounting functions and related activities. Financial accounting focuses on the reporting of an organization's financial information, including the preparation of financial statements, to the external users of the information, such as investors, regulators and suppliers; and management accounting focuses on the measurement, analysis and reporting of information for internal use by management. The recording of financial transactions, so that summaries of the financials may be presented in financial reports, is known as bookkeeping, of which double-entry bookkeeping is the most common system.Accounting is facilitated by accounting organizations such as standard-setters, accounting firms and professional bodies. Financial statements are usually audited by accounting firms, and are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). GAAP is set by various standard-setting organizations such as the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in the United States and the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom. As of 2012, "all major economies" have plans to converge towards or adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

E-commerce

E-commerce is the activity of buying or selling of products on online services or over the Internet. Electronic commerce draws on technologies such as mobile commerce, electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems.

Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web for at least one part of the transaction's life cycle although it may also use other technologies such as e-mail. Typical e-commerce transactions include the purchase of online books (such as Amazon) and music purchases (music download in the form of digital distribution such as iTunes Store), and to a less extent, customized/personalized online liquor store inventory services. There are three areas of e-commerce: online retailing, electric markets, and online auctions. E-commerce is supported by electronic business.E-commerce businesses may also employ some or all of the followings:

Online shopping for retail sales direct to consumers via Web sites and mobile apps, and conversational commerce via live chat, chatbots, and voice assistants

Providing or participating in online marketplaces, which process third-party business-to-consumer or consumer-to-consumer sales

Business-to-business buying and selling;

Gathering and using demographic data through web contacts and social media

Business-to-business (B2B) electronic data interchange

Marketing to prospective and established customers by e-mail or fax (for example, with newsletters)

Engaging in pretail for launching new products and services

Online financial exchanges for currency exchanges or trading purposes.

Enterprise resource planning

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

ERP is usually referred to as a category of business management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage, and interpret data from these many business activities.

ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materials, production capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.Enterprise system software is a multibillion-dollar industry that produces components supporting a variety of business functions. IT investments have become the largest category of capital expenditure in United States-based businesses over the past decade. Though early ERP systems focused on large enterprises, smaller enterprises increasingly use ERP systems.The ERP system integrates varied organizational systems and facilitates error-free transactions and production, thereby enhancing the organization's efficiency. However, developing an ERP system differs from traditional system development.

ERP systems run on a variety of computer hardware and network configurations, typically using a database as an information repository.

Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which is often initially a small business. The people who create these businesses are called entrepreneurs.Entrepreneurship has been described as the "capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit." While definitions of entrepreneurship typically focus on the launching and running of businesses, due to the high risks involved in launching a start-up, a significant proportion of start-up businesses have to close due to "lack of funding, bad business decisions, an economic crisis, lack of market demand, or a combination of all of these."A broader definition of the term is sometimes used, especially in the field of economics. In this usage, an Entrepreneur is an entity which has the ability to find and act upon opportunities to translate inventions or technology into new products: "The entrepreneur is able to recognize the commercial potential of the invention and organize the capital, talent, and other resources that turn an invention into a commercially viable innovation." In this sense, the term "Entrepreneurship" also captures innovative activities on the part of established firms, in addition to similar activities on the part of new businesses.

Forbes

Forbes () is an American business magazine. Published bi-weekly, it features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics. Forbes also reports on related subjects such as technology, communications, science, politics, and law. Its headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Primary competitors in the national business magazine category include Fortune and Bloomberg Businessweek. The magazine is well known for its lists and rankings, including of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400), of the world's top companies (the Forbes Global 2000), and The World's Billionaires. The motto of Forbes magazine is "The Capitalist Tool". Its chair and editor-in-chief is Steve Forbes, and its CEO is Mike Federle. It was sold to a Hong Kong-based investment group, Integrated Whale Media Investments.

IBM

International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Armonk, New York, with operations in over 170 countries. The company began in 1911, founded in Endicott, New York, as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR) and was renamed "International Business Machines" in 1924.

IBM produces and sells computer hardware, middleware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. IBM is also a major research organization, holding the record for most U.S. patents generated by a business (as of 2019) for 26 consecutive years. Inventions by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the SQL programming language, the UPC barcode, and dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). The IBM mainframe, exemplified by the System/360, was the dominant computing platform during the 1960s and 1970s.

IBM has continually shifted business operations by focusing on higher-value, more profitable markets. This includes spinning off printer manufacturer Lexmark in 1991 and the sale of personal computer (ThinkPad/ThinkCentre) and x86-based server businesses to Lenovo (in 2005 and 2014, respectively), and acquiring companies such as PwC Consulting (2002), SPSS (2009), The Weather Company (2016), and Red Hat (agreement announced in October 2018, actual acquisition to be in the second half of 2019). Also in 2014, IBM announced that it would go "fabless", continuing to design semiconductors, but offloading manufacturing to GlobalFoundries.

Nicknamed Big Blue, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world's largest employers, with (as of 2017) over 380,000 employees, known as "IBMers". At least 70% of IBMers are based outside the United States, and the country with the largest number of IBMers is India. IBM employees have been awarded five Nobel Prizes, six Turing Awards, ten National Medals of Technology (USA) and five National Medals of Science (USA).

Information technology

Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system (IT system) is generally an information system, a communications system or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of users.

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000 BC, but the term information technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several products or services within an economy are associated with information technology, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, and e-commerce.Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450–1840), electromechanical (1840–1940), and electronic (1940–present). This article focuses on the most recent period (electronic), which began in about 1940.

List of legal entity types by country

A business entity is an entity that is formed and administered as per corporate law in order to engage in business activities, charitable work, or other activities allowable. Most often, business entities are formed to sell a product or a service. There are many types of business entities defined in the legal systems of various countries. These include corporations, cooperatives, partnerships, sole traders, limited liability companies and other specifically permitted and labelled types of entities. The specific rules vary by country and by state or province. Some of these types are listed below, by country. For guidance, approximate equivalents in the company law of English-speaking countries are given in most cases, for example:

Ltd. (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)

public limited company (UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth)

limited partnership

unlimited partnership

chartered company

statutory company

holding company

subsidiary company

one man company (sole proprietorship)

charitable incorporated organisation (UK)

non-governmental organizationHowever, the regulations governing particular types of entities, even those described as roughly equivalent, differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When creating or restructuring a business, the legal responsibilities will depend on the type of business entity chosen.

Lok Sabha

The Lok Sabha (House of the People) is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha. Members of the Lok Sabha are elected by adult universal suffrage and a first-past-the-post system to represent their respective constituencies, and they hold their seats for five years or until the body is dissolved by the President on the advice of the council of ministers. The house meets in the Lok Sabha Chambers of the Sansad Bhavan in New Delhi.

The maximum strength of the House allotted by the Constitution of India is 552. Currently, the house has 545 seats which is made up by the election of up to 543 elected members and at a maximum, 2 nominated members of the Anglo-Indian Community by the President of India. A total of 131 seats (24.03%) are reserved for representatives of Scheduled Castes (84) and Scheduled Tribes (47). The quorum for the House is 10% of the total membership. The Lok Sabha, unless sooner dissolved, continues to operate for five years from the date appointed for its first meeting. However, while a proclamation of emergency is in operation, this period may be extended by Parliament by law.An exercise to redraw Lok Sabha constituencies' boundaries is carried out by the Boundary Delimitation Commission of India every decade based on the Indian census, last of which was conducted in 2011. This exercise earlier also included redistribution of seats among states based on demographic changes but that provision of the mandate of the commission was suspended in 1976 following a constitutional amendment to incentivise the family planning programme which was being implemented. The 16th Lok Sabha was elected in May 2014 and is the latest to date. The schedule for the 2019 Lok Sabha Election has been announced by the Election Commission of India. Broken into seven phases the General Elections will be held from 11th April 2019 till 19th May 2019.

The Lok Sabha has its own television channel, Lok Sabha TV, headquartered within the premises of Parliament.

Management

Management (or managing) is the administration of an organization, whether it is a business, a not-for-profit organization, or government body. Management includes the activities of setting the strategy of an organization and coordinating the efforts of its employees (or of volunteers) to accomplish its objectives through the application of available resources, such as financial, natural, technological, and human resources. The term "management" may also refer to those people who manage an organization.

Social scientists study management as an academic discipline, investigating areas such as social organization and organizational leadership. Some people study management at colleges or universities; major degrees in management include the Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com.) Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA.) Master of Business Administration (MBA.) and, for the public sector, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree. Individuals who aim to become management specialists or experts, management researchers, or professors may complete the Doctor of Management (DM), the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), or the PhD in Business Administration or Management.

Larger organizations generally have three levels of managers, which are typically organized in a hierarchical, pyramid structure:

Senior managers, such as members of a Board of Directors and a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or a President of an organization. They set the strategic goals of the organization and make decisions on how the overall organization will operate. Senior managers are generally executive-level professionals, and provide direction to middle management who directly or indirectly report to them.

Middle managers, examples of these would include branch managers, regional managers, department managers and section managers, who provide direction to front-line managers. Middle managers communicate the strategic goals of senior management to the front-line managers.

Lower managers, such as supervisors and front-line team leaders, oversee the work of regular employees (or volunteers, in some voluntary organizations) and provide direction on their work.In smaller organizations, an individual manager may have a much wider scope. A single manager may perform several roles or even all of the roles commonly observed in a large organization.

Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration (MBA or M.B.A.) degree originated in the United States in the early 20th century when the country industrialized and companies sought scientific approaches to management. The core courses in an MBA program cover various areas of business such as accounting, applied statistics, business communication, business ethics, business law, finance, managerial economics, management, entrepreneurship, marketing and operations in a manner most relevant to management analysis and strategy.

Most programs also include elective courses and concentrations for further study in a particular area, for example accounting, finance, and marketing. MBA programs in the United States typically require completing about sixty credits, nearly twice the number of credits typically required for degrees that cover some of the same material such as the Master of Economics, Master of Finance, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Marketing and Master of Science in Management.

The MBA is a terminal degree and a professional degree. Accreditation bodies specifically for MBA programs ensure consistency and quality of education. Business schools in many countries offer programs tailored to full-time, part-time, executive (abridged coursework typically occurring on nights or weekends) and distance learning students, many with specialized concentrations.

Nonprofit organization

A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view. In economic terms, it is an organization that uses its surplus of the revenues to further achieve its ultimate objective, rather than distributing its income to the organization's shareholders, leaders, or members. Nonprofits are tax exempt or charitable, meaning they do not pay income tax on the money that they receive for their organization. They can operate in religious, scientific, research, or educational settings.

The key aspects of nonprofits are accountability, trustworthiness, honesty, and openness to every person who has invested time, money, and faith into the organization. Nonprofit organizations are accountable to the donors, funders, volunteers, program recipients, and the public community. Public confidence is a factor in the amount of money that a nonprofit organization is able to raise. The more nonprofits focus on their mission, the more public confidence they will have, and as a result, more money for the organization. The activities a nonprofit is partaking in can help build the public’s confidence in nonprofits, as well as how ethical the standards and practices are.

Outsourcing

Outsourcing is an agreement in which one company hires another company to be responsible for a planned or existing activity that is or could be done internally,

and sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another.

The term outsourcing, which came from the phrase outside resourcing, originated no later than 1981. The concept, which The Economist says "made its presence felt since the time of the Second World War," often involves the contracting of a business process (e.g., payroll processing, claims processing), operational, and/or non-core functions, such as manufacturing, facility management, call center support).

Outsourcing is also the practice of handing over control of public services to private enterprises.Outsourcing includes both foreign and domestic contracting, and sometimes includes offshoring (relocating a business function to a distant country) or nearshoring (transferring a business process to a nearby country).

Offshoring and outsourcing are not mutually inclusive: there can be one without the other. They can be intertwined (Offshore outsourcing), and can be individually or jointly, partially or completely reversed, involving terms such as reshoring, inshoring, and insourcing.

Privately held company

A privately held company, private company, or close corporation is a business company owned either by non-governmental organizations or by a relatively small number of shareholders or company members which does not offer or trade its company stock (shares) to the general public on the stock market exchanges, but rather the company's stock is offered, owned and traded or exchanged privately or over-the-counter. More ambiguous terms for a privately held company are closely held corporation, unquoted company, and unlisted company.

Though less visible than their publicly traded counterparts, private companies have major importance in the world's economy. In 2008, the 441 largest private companies in the United States accounted for US$1,800,000,000,000 ($1.8 trillion) in revenues and employed 6.2 million people, according to Forbes. In 2005, using a substantially smaller pool size (22.7%) for comparison, the 339 companies on Forbes' survey of closely held U.S. businesses sold a trillion dollars' worth of goods and services (44%) and employed 4 million people. In 2004, the Forbes' count of privately held U.S. businesses with at least $1 billion in revenue was 305.

Public company

A public company, publicly traded company, publicly held company, publicly listed company, or public limited company is a corporation whose ownership is dispersed among the general public in many shares of stock which are freely traded on a stock exchange or in over the counter markets. In some jurisdictions, public companies over a certain size must be listed on an exchange. A public company can be listed (listed company) or unlisted (unlisted public company).

Public companies are formed within the legal systems of particular nations, and therefore have national associations and formal designations which are distinct and separate. For example one of the main public company forms in the United States is called a limited liability company (or LLC), in France is called a "society of limited responsibility" (SARL), in Britain a public limited company (plc), and in Germany a company with limited liability (GmbH). While the general idea of a public company may be similar, differences are meaningful, and are at the core of international law disputes with regard to industry and trade.

Richard Branson

Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson (born 18 July 1950) is an English business magnate, investor, author and philanthropist. He founded the Virgin Group, which controls more than 400 companies.Branson expressed his desire to become an entrepreneur at a young age. His first business venture, at the age of 16, was a magazine called Student. In 1970, he set up a mail-order record business. He opened a chain of record stores, Virgin Records—later known as Virgin Megastores—in 1972. Branson's Virgin brand grew rapidly during the 1980s, as he set up Virgin Atlantic airline and expanded the Virgin Records music label. In 2004, he founded spaceflight corporation Virgin Galactic, based at Mojave Air and Space Port, noted for the SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism.

In March 2000, Branson was knighted at Buckingham Palace for "services to entrepreneurship". For his work in retail, music and transport (with interests in land, air, sea and space travel), his taste for adventure, and for his humanitarian work, he has become a prominent global figure. In 2007, he was placed in Time magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People in The World.

In June 2018, Forbes listed Branson's estimated net worth at US$5.1 billion.

Sony

Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社, Sonī Kabushiki Kaisha, SOH-nee, stylized as SONY) is a Japanese multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Kōnan, Minato, Tokyo. Its diversified business includes consumer and professional electronics, gaming, entertainment and financial services. The company owns the largest music entertainment business in the world, the largest video game console business and one of the largest video game publishing businesses, and is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic products for the consumer and professional markets, and a leading player in the film and television entertainment industry. Sony was ranked 97th on the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list.Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group (ソニー・グループ, Sonī Gurūpu), which is engaged in business through its four operating components: electronics (AV, IT & communication products, semiconductors, video games, network services and medical business), motion pictures (movies and TV shows), music (record labels and music publishing) and financial services (banking and insurance). These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. The group consists of Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures, Sony Mobile, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Sony Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Sony Financial Holdings, and others.

Sony is among the semiconductor sales leaders and since 2015, the fifth-largest television manufacturer in the world after Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, TCL and Hisense.The company's current slogan is Be Moved. Their former slogans were The One and Only (1979–1982), It's a Sony (1982–2005), like.no.other (2005–2009) and make.believe (2009–2013).Sony has a weak tie to the Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) corporate group, the successor to the Mitsui group.

Subsidiary

A subsidiary, subsidiary company or daughter company is a company that is owned or controlled by another company, which is called the parent company, parent, or holding company. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a government or state-owned enterprise. In some cases, particularly in the music and book publishing industries, subsidiaries are referred to as imprints.

In the United States railroad industry, an operating subsidiary is a company that is a subsidiary but operates with its own identity, locomotives and rolling stock. In contrast, a non-operating subsidiary would exist on paper only (i.e., stocks, bonds, articles of incorporation) and would use the identity of the parent company.

Subsidiaries are a common feature of business life, and most multinational corporations organize their operations in this way. Examples include holding companies such as Berkshire Hathaway, Jefferies Financial Group, WarnerMedia, or Citigroup; as well as more focused companies such as IBM or Xerox. These, and others, organize their businesses into national and functional subsidiaries, often with multiple levels of subsidiaries.

Warren Buffett

Warren Edward Buffett (; born August 30, 1930) is an American business magnate, investor, speaker and philanthropist who serves as the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and has a net worth of US$82.5 billion as of March 9, 2019, making him the third-wealthiest person in the world.Buffett was born in Omaha, Nebraska. He developed an interest in business and investing in his youth, eventually entering the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 before transferring and graduating from University of Nebraska at the age of 19. He went on to graduate from Columbia Business School, where he molded his investment philosophy around the concept of value investing that was pioneered by Benjamin Graham. He attended New York Institute of Finance to focus his economics background and soon after began various business partnerships, including one with Graham. He created Buffett Partnership, Ltd in 1956 and his firm eventually acquired a textile manufacturing firm called Berkshire Hathaway and assumed its name to create a diversified holding company. In 1978, Charlie Munger joined Buffett and became vice president of the company.Buffett has been the chairman and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway since 1970, and he has been referred to as the "Wizard", "Oracle", or "Sage" of Omaha by global media outlets. He is noted for his adherence to value investing and for his personal frugality despite his immense wealth. Research published at the University of Oxford characterizes Buffett's investment methodology as falling within "founder centrism" – defined by a deference to managers with a founder's mindset, an ethical disposition towards the shareholder collective, and an intense focus on exponential value creation. Essentially, Buffett's concentrated investments shelter managers from the short-term pressures of the market.Buffett is a notable philanthropist, having pledged to give away 99 percent of his fortune to philanthropic causes, primarily via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He founded The Giving Pledge in 2009 with Bill Gates, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their fortunes. He endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 U.S. presidential election; and will judge current U.S. President Donald Trump by his results on national safety, economic growth, and economic participation.

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