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Types Of Business


There are many business types. The most suitable business types will depend the organisation's objectives, size and resources. For example a large business will benefit from a company structure so that the owners can separate their personal belongings from those belonging to the firm. Whereas an organisation wanting to help people will benefit from setting itself up as a charity.

Diagram showing different types of business

The links below will take you to information about different business types.

Sole Trader

A sole trader business is a business owned by one person, although the organisation may employ more than one person


When two or more people join forces to own and run a business, their business is known as a partnership and they are called partners


A Franchise is an organisation utilising a business idea belonging to another. The Franchise owner will pay the owner (of the business idea) money to use their business idea.


The overriding objective of these types of organisations is something other than making a profit. Such organisations have a variety of objectives depending on the motives of their founders. Charities enjoy tax benefits.


In 1844 28 weavers from Rochdale set up a society to buy food and sell to its members at the same price that the food would be sold to shops. This is known as a co-operative, click on the link to learn more.

Private and Public Limited Company

This is a business owned by a group of people who do not want to have unlimited personal liability for the debts of the business. Public limited companies sell shares in the business on the stock market, whilst a private limited company is owned by a group of individuals. You can not buy shares in a private limited company through the stock market.


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