Introduction

Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] 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."

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.

Selected article

AIG New York headquarters at dusk.

American International Group, Inc (AIG) (NYSEAIG) is an American insurance corporation. Its corporate headquarters are located in the American International Building in New York City. AIG history dates back to 1919, when Cornelius Vander Starr established an insurance agency in Shanghai, China. Starr was the first Westerner in Shanghai to sell insurance to the Chinese, which he continued to do until AIG left China in early 1949. According to the 2008 Forbes Global 2000 list, AIG was once the 18th-largest public company in the world. It was listed on the Dow Jones Industrial Average from April 8, 2004 to September 22, 2008.

In September 2008, AIG suffered from a liquidity crisis when its credit ratings were downgraded below "AA" levels. The United States Federal Reserve Bank on September 16, 2008, created an $85 billion credit facility to enable the company to meet increased collateral obligations consequent to the credit rating downgrade, in exchange for the issuance of a stock warrant to the Federal Reserve Bank for 79.9% of the equity of AIG. The Federal Reserve Bank and the United States Treasury by May 2009 had increased the potential financial support to AIG, with the support of an investment of as much as $70 billion, a $60 billion credit line and $52.5 billion to buy mortgage-based assets owned or guaranteed by AIG, increasing the total amount available to as much as $182.5 billion.

Selected image

"The New Fred Meyer on Interstate on Lombard" (7404 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217).
Photo credit: Genghiskhanviet

In commerce, a hypermarket is a superstore combining a supermarket and a department store. The result is an expansive retail facility carrying a wide range of products under one roof, including full groceries lines and general merchandise. In theory, hypermarkets allow customers to satisfy all their routine shopping needs in one trip.

Selected economy

...The Economy of Singapore is a highly developed and successful free market economy in which the state plays a major role. It has an open business environment, relatively corruption-free and transparent, stable prices, and one of the highest per capita gross domestic products (GDP) in the world. Exports, particularly in electronics and chemicals, and services provide the main source of revenue for the economy, which allows it to purchase natural resources and raw goods which it does not have. Singapore could thus be said to rely on an extended concept of entrepot trade, by purchasing raw goods and refining them for re-export, such as in the wafer fabrication industry and oil refining. Singapore also has a strategic port which makes it more competitive than many of its neighbours to carry out such entrepot activities. The Port of Singapore is the busiest in the world, surpassing Hong Kong and Shanghai. In addition, Singapore's port infrastructure and skilled workforce, which is due to the success of the country's education policy in producing skilled workers, is also fundamental in this aspect as they provide easier access to markets for both importing and exporting, and also provide the skill(s) needed to refine imports into exports.Singapore's total trade in 2000 amounted to S$373 billion, an increase of 21% from 1999. Despite its small size, Singapore is the tenth-largest trading partner of the United States. In 2000, Singapore's imports totalled $135 billion, and exports totalled $138 billion. Malaysia was Singapore's main import source, as well as its largest export market, absorbing 18% of Singapore's exports, with the United States close behind. Re-exports accounted for 43% of Singapore's total sales to other countries in 2000. Singapore's principal exports are petroleum products, food/beverages, chemicals, textile/garments, electronic components, telecommunication apparatus, transport equipment. Singapore's main imports are aircraft, crude oil and petroleum products, electronic components, radio and television receivers/parts, motor vehicles, chemicals, food/beverages, iron/steel, textile yarns/fabrics.
Other selected economies... Read more...

Selected quote

"The trade of a joint stock company is always managed by a court of directors. This court, indeed, is frequently subject, in many respects, to the control of a general court of proprietors. But the greater part of those proprietors seldom pretend to understand anything of the business of the company, and when the spirit of faction happens not to prevail among them, give themselves no trouble about it, but receive contentedly such half-yearly or yearly dividend as the directors think proper to make to them. This total exemption from trouble and from risk, beyond a limited sum, encourages many people to become adventurers in joint stock companies, who would, upon no account, hazard their fortunes in any private copartnery. Such companies, therefore, commonly draw to themselves much greater stocks than any private copartnery can boast of. The trading stock of the South Sea Company, at one time, amounted to upwards of thirty-three millions eight hundred thousand pounds. The divided capital of the Bank of England amounts, at present, to ten millions seven hundred and eighty thousand pounds. The directors of such companies, however, being the managers rather of other people's money than of their own, it cannot well be expected that they should watch over it with the same anxious vigilance with which the partners in a private copartnery frequently watch over their own. Like the stewards of a rich man, they are apt to consider attention to small matters as not for their master's honour, and very easily give themselves a dispensation from having it. Negligence and profusion, therefore, must always prevail, more or less, in the management of the affairs of such a company. It is upon this account that joint stock companies for foreign trade have seldom been able to maintain the competition against private adventurers. They have, accordingly, very seldom succeeded without an exclusive privilege, and frequently have not succeeded with one. Without an exclusive privilege they have commonly mismanaged the trade. With an exclusive privilege they have both mismanaged and confined it."

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, 1776

Topics

Things you can do

Urgent and important articles are bold


Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Related WikiProjects

Business news

Wikinews Economy and business portal Wikinews logo

On this day in Business history...

August 18:

Did you know

Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, Baron de Laune

Subcategories

Related portals


Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database