Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). 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.
AIG New York headquarters at dusk.
American International Group, Inc (AIG) (NYSE: AIG) 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.
A tax (from the Latin taxo; "rate") is a financial charge or other levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity) by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay, or evasion of or resistance to collection, is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many administrative divisions. Taxes consist of direct or indirect taxes and may be paid in money or as its labour equivalent.
"...The problem which we face in dealing with actions which have harmful effects is not simply one of restraining those responsible for them. What has to be decided is whether the gain from preventing the harm is greater than the loss which would be suffered elsewhere as a result of stopping the action which produces the harm. In a world in which there are costs of rearranging the rights established by the legal system, the courts, in cases relating to nuisance, are, in effect, making a decision on the economic problem and determining how resources are to be employed. It was argued that the courts are conscious of this and that they often make, although not always in a very explicit fashion, a comparison between what would be gained and what lost by preventing actions which have harmful effects. But the delimitation of rights is also the result of statutory enactments. Here we also find evidence of an appreciation of the reciprocal nature of the problem. While statutory enactments add to the list of nuisances, action is also taken to legalize what would otherwise be nuisances under the common law. The kind of situation which economists are prone to consider as requiring Government action is, in fact, often the result of Government action. Such action is not necessarily unwise. But there is a real danger that extensive Government intervention in the economic system may lead to the protection of those responsible for harmful being carried too far."
- —Ronald Coase, The Problem of Social Cost, 1960
Things you can do
Urgent and important articles are bold
Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
- Article requests : Abstract Fees, IFRS for small and medium entities, more...
- Assess : assess these pages
- Cleanup : Agricultural productivity, Bank fraud, Billpoint, Economic nationalism, Ethical implications in contracts, Financial adviser, Futures exchange, Gulf rupee, Pricing, Self insurance, Serfdom, Space elevator economics, Valuation, more...
- Disambiguation : cleanup links to dab pages
- Expand : Tom Basso, Clintonomics, Toby Crabel, Diversification (finance), Economy of Brazil, European Cooperative Society, Heavy industry, Larry Hite, Insourcing, Paul Tudor Jones, Planning Commission, Linda Bradford Raschke, Sales pitch, Singapore television channels, David Tepper, Monroe Trout, Tan Yu
- Infobox : add to business articles needing infoboxes
- Maintain : Portal:Business and economics
- Merge : Business Analysis, Corporate performance management, Economic growth, Excess reserves, Liberian Companies, National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Permanent war economy, more...
- NPOV : Economic interventionism, Energy economics, Rage Software Limited, more...
- Photo : add to requested photographs of business & economic topics and requested photographs of business and economics people
- Stubs : Bioeconomics, Debt compliance, Double auction, Kitchen sink regression, Single-entry accounting system, War economy, Workforce, more...
- Verify : add sources to Unreferenced BLPs
- Wikify : Economy of GDR, Investment specific technological progress, Marketization, Mediobanca, more...
- Other : Projects - Accounting, Business, Companies, Cooperatives, Deletion sorting, Economics, Finance & Investment, Game theory, International development, Numismatics, Private Equity, Retailing, Shopping Centers, Taxation, Trade, more...
On this day in Business history...
- 1972 - Jon Fisher, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, inventor, author, philanthropist, and economic analyst, was born on this day.
Did you know
- ... 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?