A Glossary of Common Entrepreneur Terms

The entrepreneurial spirit seems to be getting stronger as time goes by, with more people testing the waters to see if they can make it as their own boss. Entrepreneurship takes work and dedication, and it helps to know the common terms and vocabulary used by entrepreneurs. In business, it's crucial to know the lexicon to be able to understand what you're doing. Brush up on your vocabulary so you can impress potential clients and investors.

  • Acquisition: An acquisition involves assuming ownership of a business.
  • Advertising: Advertising is the process of gaining public attention for a product or business using paid announcements.
  • Angel Investors: Angel investors are people who back new business ventures by helping with initial costs.
  • Appraisal: An appraisal is a formal estimate of the value of something.
  • Barter: To barter involves a direct exchange of services or merchandise between businesses.
  • Business Incubator: A business incubator provides coaching and office space for entrepreneurs.
  • Business Valuation: A business valuation is an estimate of the worth of a business and its assets.
  • Consumer-Direct Marketing: Consumer-direct marketing is selling a product directly to customers rather than to retailers.
  • Copyright: Copyright is the legal ownership of published or unpublished works that have a tangible form.
  • Corporation: A corporation is a legal entity that has rights, privileges, and liabilities that are distinct from those of its members. Investors in a corporation are protected from personal liability if losses occur.
  • Downline: People who participate in a multilevel marketing business have people in their downline, which consists of the people who sign on underneath them.
  • Due Diligence: Due diligence is the process of accessing documents and information about a deal or transaction to make sure that you're fully informed prior to proceeding.
  • Entrepreneur: An entrepreneur is an individual who starts a business venture and assumes all risk for it.
  • General Partnership: A general partnership is a business structure that involves each partner sharing in administrative duties, profits, and losses.
  • Home-Based Business: A home-based business operates out of the owner's home.
  • Independent Contractor: An independent contractor engages in a profession or work duties under a contract without having the right to control or direct the results of the work.
  • Intrapreneur: An intrapreneur is an individual who engages in entrepreneurial ventures in a corporate environment.
  • Joint Venture: A joint venture is a legal entity that joins two or more businesses together to carry out a specific project, with the parties sharing all profits and losses.
  • Limited Liability Company: An LLC is a legal entity that distributes profits to the owners, shields the owners' personal assets from business debt, and isn't taxable.
  • Limited Partnership: A limited partnership is an arrangement that gives daily operational control to one or more general partners with funding provided by limited or silent partners who have legal responsibility for losses relative to their investment.
  • Line of Credit: A line of credit is a lending arrangement that involves the borrower paying interest only on the money borrowed.
  • Marketing: Marketing is the process of researching, promoting, and selling a product or service.
  • Merger: A merger joins two or more previously separate businesses, with both organizations moving all assets and liabilities into the new business.
  • Multilevel Marketing: Multilevel marketing is a business structure that involves participants receiving proceeds of their sales and of the sales of participants they recruited into the business.
  • Networking: Networking is the process of developing professional relationships, learning about an industry, and expanding a business base.
  • Outsourcing: Outsourcing involves purchasing services such as payroll, accounting, or IT management from another business.
  • Partnership: A partnership involves two or more people who operate a business to make a profit.
  • Patent: A patent is the property right that is granted to the inventor of an item, preventing others from making, using, or selling it.
  • Public Relations: PR is the promotion of a specific image in connection with a business.
  • Sales: Sales are exchanges of a service or product for money.
  • SCORE: The Service Corps of Retired Executives provides counseling for small businesses.
  • Small Business Administration: The SBA is the U.S. organization that supports the entrepreneurial community.
  • Sole Proprietorship: A sole proprietorship is a business that is owned and operated by one individual.
  • Strategic Alliance: A strategic alliance is a relationship between two businesses that combine efforts to work toward a specific goal.
  • Trademark: A trademark is the legal protection afforded to colors, sounds, symbols, names, and words that distinguish a good or service.
  • Venture Capital: Venture capital is a type of financing for a business that involves giving up partial ownership and control in exchange for capital over a specific period of time.
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