Difference Between Enterprise and Business

Enterprise vs Business

There are many different words being used for any entity that is set up with the intention to earn profits or one that has been set up to indulge in any economic activity. We are all aware of the words like company, organization, firm, business, enterprise etc. and generally make no difference between these concepts that are used interchangeably to indicate a commercial establishment working to earn profits for the stakeholders. However, there are subtle differences between the words enterprise and business and that will be highlighted in this article, to enable readers to read the nuances correctly when they hear the word enterprise for an establishment.


Enterprise is a word that is commonly used to refer to some businesses. It is common to hear or read the word being used for startups and established commercial setups. However, the word is used more for individuals whose actions reflect an initiative involving risk. However, in the realm of businesses, what is it that makes a business an enterprise while it is simply a company or an organization in other cases? While it is the initiative and resourcefulness of an entrepreneur that makes a venture an enterprise, the word is used more in IT industry than in other industries of the economy. Thus, we have enterprise solutions, enterprise architecture, enterprise computing system, and so on. In many economies, a small and medium enterprise (SME) is a phrase that is applied to small industrial units irrespective of their nature or type.


Business is a generic word that is used commonly for any commercial establishment that is being run to earn profits for the shareholders and the owners. When filling up a form to let it is known about your source income, you are asked if you are doing business or are into service. Disclosing your source of income is also required when filing tax returns. You are your own boss when you set up a business whereas you work for others when you are into a 9 to 5 job. So, a business is a type of occupation in this sense.

Business is also the volume of trade between countries as when talking about business between countries. If you are not concerned or bothered about something, you say that it is none of my business.

What is the difference between Enterprise and Business?

• While an enterprise can be a business, not all businesses are enterprises.

• An enterprise is usually a venture that reflect an initiative or high risk taking ability of the entrepreneur.

• Enterprise connotes something bigger and far-reaching than a simple occupation.

• Business is also a type of occupation that reflects the fact that the owner is his own boss.

• Enterprise is a concept that is used more often in terms of IT industry such as enterprise solutions, enterprise security, enterprise architecture, and so on.

• Enterprise also refers to risk taking ability and the initiative undertaken by an individual.