Business organizations are established to meet wants in society. Private businesses are formed mainly to provide for material wants (i.e. goods and services) and commercial wants (i.e. banking, insurance) in society. Government Organizations, on the other hand, tend to satisfy society’s desire for defence, lawand order, education and social welfare.
Organizations are thus established to meet wants in society. In meeting these, organizations will set very definite and clear aims, e.g. a manufacturing firm will want to stay in business and make a profit. The aims of an organization are normally decided by the board of directors, or in the case of public organizations by government ministers.
The most common forms of private business organizations are sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.
A business owned and controlled by one person is a sole proprietorship. Sole proprietorships are the oldest, simplest, and most common of all types of businesses. Because the financial resources available to one person often are limited, sole proprietorships tend to be enterprises that require small amounts of capital to start and operate. Many doctors, dentists, lawyers, bakers, and beauticians organize as sole proprietors to provide professional services. Other services offered by sole proprietors include plumbing, carpentry, dry cleaning and lawn care. Many construction companies, small grocery stores, florists, other small retail stores, farms, real estate firms and insurance firms are also organized as sole proprietorships.
A partnership is a business that is owned and controlled by two or more people. As in the case of sole proprietorships, partnerships are concentrated in businesses that require relatively small amounts of money to start and operate. Small retail stores, farms and construction companies are often organized as partnerships. People in service occupations, such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, and photographers, also form partnerships. Many of these partnerships may have started as sole proprietorships. A partnership begins when two or more people agree to operate a business together. Partnership can be general or limited. In order to avoid later conflicts, the partners usually formulate a written agreement called a partnership contract. A partnership contract outlines the distribution of profits and losses. It details the specific responsibilities of each partner and includes provision for adding or dropping partners and dissolving the partnership.
A corporation is a business organization that is treated by law as if it were an individual person. A corporation can do everything that a sole proprietorship or a partnership can do. It can, for example, buy property and resources, hire workers, make contracts, pay taxes, sue others and be sued and produce and sell products. A corporation, however, is owned by stockholders. Stockholders are individuals who invest in a corporation by buying shares of stock. Stocks are the certificates of ownership in the corporation. Stockholders invest in a corporation in order to make a profit.
Types of Corporations.
A corporation may be either publicly owned or closed. A publicly owned corporation allows its shares to be purchased by anyone who chooses to invest in the business. Most corporations today are publicly owned. A closed corporation is owned by a limited number of shareholders. People outside of this limited group may not buy shares in the corporation.