Difference Between Enterprise and Company

Enterprise vs Company

There are many different words used for a business or an organization doing some economic activity such as company, establishment, firm, venture, enterprise etc. We assume the same thing when someone speaks of an enterprise or when we hear the word company. The two concepts are very similar to each other prompting many to make use of these words interchangeably. However, there are subtle differences between a company and an enterprise that will be highlighted in this article.


Any business that is conducted with the aim of generating profits is referred to as a company. If there is an economic activity is going on, one can be pretty sure that the outfit carrying it is a company. Yes, there is also the usage where company means the people with whom an individual hangs out or passes his time with, but in general, the word company indicates an organization that engages in activities geared towards earning profits for the stakeholders.


An enterprise has several meanings of which one is definitely what is understood by a company. So a business organization is definitely an enterprise according to the dictionary meaning of enterprise. However, a person is also referred to as enterprising when he is seen as one who is willing to take risks to start new ventures. Private enterprise is what is meant by industriousness that is directed towards earning profits. Enterprise class is a phrase that has become common these days, and it refers to a solution or a device meant for use in a large organization. Enterprise seems to be a preferred choice when talking about IT companies as when we hear about enterprise architecture, enterprise security, and so on. ‘Small and medium enterprises’ (SME) is a very common phrase used for small ventures and units in comparison to large companies in an economy.

What is the difference between Enterprise and Company?

• While a company is typically an organization engaged in an economic activity for the purpose of earning profits for the stakeholders, an enterprise may not be a formal company in many instances.

• There are educational and community enterprises that do not fit into the definition of a company as they are not set up for the sole purpose of making profits.

• Enterprise is a word that can be used for a company though it is mostly used in the sense of action and growth as in private enterprise.

• Enterprise sounds more complex and interesting than company.

• Enterprise has become common in the context of IT these days with enterprise class and enterprise solutions being commonly used phrases.

• SME is an acronym that clearly indicates that enterprise is meant to be used for ventures.