The etymology of "business" refers to the state of being busy, in the context of the individual as well as the community or society. In other words, to be busy is to be doing commercially viable and profitable work.
The term "business" has at least three usages, depending on the scope ¡ª the general usage (above), the singular usage to refer to a particular company or corporation, and the generalized usage to refer to a particular market sector, such as "the record business," "the computer business," or "the business community" -- the community of suppliers of goods and services.
The singular "business" can be a legally-recognized entity within an economically free society, wherein individuals organize based on expertise and skills to bring about social and technological advancement.
In predominantly capitalist economies, businesses are typically formed to earn profit and grow the personal wealth of their owners.
The owners and operators of a business have as one of their main objectives the receipt or generation of a financial return in exchange for their work ¡ª that is, the expense of time and energy ¡ª and for their acceptance of risk ¡ª investing work and money without certainty of success.