Classifications

Agriculture and mining businesses produce raw material, such as plants or minerals.

Financial businesses include banks and other companies that generate profits through investment and management of capital.

Information businesses generate profits primarily from the sale of intellectual property – they include movie studios, publishers, and Internet and software companies.

Manufacturers produce products, either from raw materials or from component parts, then sell their products at a profit. Companies that make tangible goods such as cars, clothing, or pipes are considered manufacturers.

Real estate businesses sell, rent, and develop properties – including land, residential homes, and other buildings.

Retailers and distributors act as middlemen and get goods produced by manufacturers to the intended consumers; they make their profits by marking up their prices. Most stores and catalog companies are distributors or retailers.

Service businesses offer intangible goods or services and typically charge for labor or other services provided to government, to consumers, or to other businesses. Interior decorators, consulting firms, telecommunications companies and entertainers are service businesses.

Transportation businesses deliver goods and individuals to their destinations for a fee.

Utilities produce public services such as electricity or sewage treatment, usually under a government.

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