Business Structures – What is a Business?

What is a Business? A business is defined in the Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Addition as: A company or institution engaged in commercial, productive, or economic pursuits. The word “business” can also refer to the unorganized activities and endeavors of individuals for gain and/or to earn income. Business, therefore, can include any of the following: a profession; a commercial enterprise; a partnership or corporation; an estate owned by, or under the control of, persons for the purpose of making money. A business can also be used in conjunction with the word industry, which is used to describe those enterprises or fields of activity that produce or offer a service related to a specific industry.


A Partnership, being a legal entity, is a separate entity from its owners (who are usually people or other individuals). In many ways, a partnership is similar to a corporation. Partnerships may not provide an individual or group with total control over the enterprise, although the partnership may choose how much control is delegated to and exercised by its members.

Many businesses today have some type of partnership, corporate, limited liability, syndicate, or other type of business structures that have evolved over time. All types of partnerships, whether they are publicly traded businesses or privately held corporations, have both advantages and disadvantages. Partnerships offer greater flexibility in pursuing business objectives and can be leveraged for greater potential growth than could be achieved individually. However, unlike corporations, partnerships have no automatic right of succession and must choose whether or not to accelerate the death benefit to their shareholder.