Aviva Directory » Business & Industry

Business activities are economic activities, directly or indirectly involved in the production of goods or services, satisfying consumer needs, and ensuring profit for the business owner.

Business describes the practice of making money by providing goods or services to customers, and businesses are generally categorized according to the product or service provided. For example, if you groom dogs for a living, then you are in the dog grooming business, and, if you manufacture widgets, you're in the widget manufacturing business.

When used as a noun, businesses can be large or small and run by a single person or a large number of people.

The term refers to organizations or enterprises that engage in commercial, industrial, or professional activities, the purpose being to organize some form of economic production, either of goods or services. Business range in scale and scope from sole proprietorships to large, international corporations.

In most cases, businesses are for-profit entities, although some people have made the argument that non-profit organizations fulfilling a charitable mission might also be considered businesses if they produce a product or provide a service.

Usually, the term refers to entities that operate for commercial, industrial, or professional reasons.

There are several ways to organize a business, as well as various corresponding legal and taxation structures, which may differ from state to state, or from country to country.

Sole proprietorships, in the United States, are owned and operated by a single individual. Generally, there would be no legal separation between the owner and the business. Partnerships are business relationships between two or more people who conduct business together. Corporations are businesses in which a group of people acts as a single entity. Owners are usually referred to as shareholders. Limited liability companies (LLCs) combine the pass-through taxation benefits of a partnership with the limited liability benefits of a corporation.

An industry is a group of companies whose primary business activities are similar. There are dozens of industry classifications, and they can be grouped into larger categories called sectors. A company is classified into an industry based on its largest source of income. Although legally independent of one another, companies within a similar industry will often perform similarly due to macroeconomic conditions that affect all companies within the industry.

Industries are commonly sorted into manufacturing and service sectors.

In a manufacturing operation, human beings, machines, and raw materials come together to produce a tangible product. For the most part, manufacturing industries are characterized by heavy investments in capital, human labor, and machinery. Production and productivity are measurable, and the top management of a manufacturing business is always looking for ways to improve production and productivity.

Service industries do not produce goods, and there are no tangible outputs. There are, however, intangible outputs, such as the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the customer. For example, when someone hires the services of an attorney, he is not getting a product; rather, he is gaining representation from an expert that may be instrumental in getting a decision from a jury or court that is in his favor.

Economics professionals generally classify industries as primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary.

Primary industries include agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, quarrying, and the extraction of minerals. They can be further divided into genetic and extractive industries, the former being the production of raw materials that can be increased by human intervention, while the latter is the production of exhaustible raw materials that cannot be augmented by cultivation. Primary industries tend to dominate the economies of undeveloped and developing nations.

Secondary industries are the manufacturing industries that take the raw materials supplied by primary industries and process them into consumer goods. Secondary industries may be further divided into light and heavy industries.

Tertiary industries are the service industries. This broad sector of the economy provides services, intangible gains, or generates wealth while producing no tangible goods. These industries include banking, finance, insurance, investment, real estate, wholesale, retail, transportation, consulting, legal, tourism, hospitality, entertainment, repair and maintenance, health, social welfare, administrative, security, and defense services.

Sometimes considered an extension of the tertiary industries, quaternary industries are concerned with information-based or knowledge-oriented products and services.

We've included the more common businesses and industries here and may be adding others in the future.


Accounting & Bookkeeping

Advertising & Promotion

Aerospace & Defense

Agriculture & Aquaculture


Business Development

Business Management

Business Opportunities

Business Services

Chemicals & Plastics

Construction Trades

Consumer Goods

Domestic Services

Employment & Career Management

Energy & Utilities

Finance & Investment

Funeral Homes & Morticians

Healthcare & Medical

Industrial Machine Manufacturers


Inventing & Patents

Legal Professions

Manufacturing & Production

Mining & Drilling

Organizations & Associations

Packaging & Labeling

Printing & Publishing

Private Security

Real Estate


Science Equipment

Technology Sector

Textiles & Fabrics

Transportation & Logistics