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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.

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Oliver typewriter.png

The Oliver Typewriter Company was an American typewriter manufacturer headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The Oliver Typewriter was the first effective "visible print" typewriter, meaning text was visible to the typist as it was entered. Oliver typewriters were marketed heavily for home use, utilizing local distributors and sales on credit. Oliver produced more than one million machines between 1895 and 1928 and licensed its designs to several international firms.

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A Moorish Bazaar
Photo credit: Genghiskhanviet

A bazaar is a market: a permanent enclosed merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term originates from the Middle Persian word vāzār. Souq is another word used in the Middle East for an open-air marketplace or commercial quarter. The term bazaar is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers, and craftsmen" who work in that area. Although the current meaning of the word is believed to have originated in native Zoroastrian Persia, its use has spread and now has been accepted into the vernacular in countries around the world. The rise of large bazaars and stock trading centers in the Muslim World allowed the creation of new capitals and eventually new empires. New and wealthy cities such as Isfahan, Golconda, Samarkand, Cairo, Baghdad, and Timbuktu were founded along trade routes and bazaars. Street markets and arcades are European and North American equivalents.

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"The laws of economics are to be compared with the laws of the tides, rather than with the simple and exact law of gravitation. For the actions of men are so various and uncertain, that the best statement of tendencies, which we can make in a science of human conduct, must needs be inexact and faulty. This might be urged as a reason against making any statements at all on the subject; but that would be almost to abandon life. Life is human conduct, and the thoughts and emotions that grow up around it. By the fundamental impulses of our nature we all—high and low, learned and unlearned—are in our several degrees constantly striving to understand the courses of human action, and to shape them for our purposes, whether selfish or unselfish, whether noble or ignoble. And since we must form to ourselves some notions of the tendencies of human action, our choice is between forming those notions carelessly and forming them carefully. The harder the task, the greater the need for steady patient inquiry; for turning to account the experience, that has been reaped by the more advanced physical sciences; and for framing as best we can well thought-out estimates, or provisional laws, of the tendencies of human action.

The term "law" means then nothing more than a general proposition or statement of tendencies, more or less certain, more or less definite. Many such statements are made in every science: but we do not, indeed we can not, give to all of them a formal character and name them as laws. We must select; and the selection is directed less by purely scientific considerations than by practical convenience. If there is any general statement which we want to bring to bear so often, that the trouble of quoting it at length, when needed, is greater than that of burdening the discussion with an additional formal statement and an additional technical name, then it receives a special name, otherwise not."

Alfred Marshall, Principles of Economics, 1890

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  • ... that Italy is the third largest producer of wine in the world?
  • ...that Calouste Gulbenkian was known as Mr. Five Percent because he retained 5% of the shares of Royal Dutch/Shell, the second-largest corporation in the world by revenue, which he participated in the formation of in 1907?

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