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What is an Enterprise?

Enterprise is another word for a for-profit business or company, but it is most often associated with entrepreneurial ventures. People who have entrepreneurial success are often referred to as “enterprising.”

There are many forms of legal enterprises, with the most common in the U.S. being:

  • Sole proprietorship – A company run by a single individual, typically for their benefit, with unlimited liability for any damages that occur as a result of the business’ operations.
  • Partnership – A business run by two or more individuals or entities who share ownership – not necessarily equal ownership, however.
  • Corporation – A for-profit entity created to shield the owner(s) from liability should the enterprise become subject to a lawsuit. There are different forms of corporations, depending on how many owners there are.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – An LLC offers the legal protection of a corporation and the tax treatment of a partnership.
  • Professional Company/Professional Limited Liability Company (PC/PLLC) – PCs and PLLCs are for licensed professional firms, such as accountants, architects, engineers, doctors, and lawyers, and provide liability protection similar to a corporation.

Ultimately, the word enterprise is a synonym for business.

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