A list of favourite entrepreneur terms, acronyms and vocabulary.


  • Taking ownership of another business. Frequently used in conjunction with the word merger, as in mergers and acquisitions or M&As.
  • Also used as a term for signing up new customers for your business, as in Customer Acquisition


  • The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, through paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media. Not to be confused with marketing or public relations.

Angel Investors

  • Individuals who back emerging entrepreneurial ventures. This investment is usually a bridge to move from the self-funded stage to the level of business that would both need and attract venture capital. Funding level ranges anywhere from $50,000 to $2 million. See Angel Investor News.


  • A formal estimate of the value of something on the open market. It also describes how the estimation and conclusion of value was made.  Often applied to the value of a company, or even specific assets used in a business.




Business Incubator

  • Provides workspace, coaching, and support services to entrepreneurs, start-ups and early-stage businesses.

Business Valuation

  • An estimate of the worth of a business entity and its assets.

Consumer Direct Marketing

  • A form of Network Marketing in which the distributors are all also consumers, i.e., they must also buy the product for their personal use.


  • Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property protection for published and unpublished literary, scientific and artistic works that have been fixed in a tangible or material form.


Company / Corporation

  • A body that is granted a charter recognising it as a separate legal entity having its own rights, privileges, and liabilities distinct from those of its members. The primary advantage of a corporation is to shield its investors from personal liability for any losses the corporation may experience.

Due Diligence

  • The inquiry process of obtaining sufficient and accurate disclosure of all material documents and other information which may influence the outcome of the transaction, particularly the acquisition of a business.


  • A person who organises, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture, particularly in its early stages.

General Partnership

  • An organisational structure in which each general partner shares in the administration, profits and losses of the operation.

Home Based Business

  • A home based business is a business whose primary office is in the owner’s home. The business can be any size or any type as long as the office itself is located in a home.

Independent Contractor

  • One who practices an independent trade, business, or profession in which they offer their services to the public. The independent contractor must have the right to control or direct both the quality of the result of the work as well as the means and methods of accomplishing the result. Without these conditions in place the individual would likely be deemed as an employee of the customer.


Intellectual Property

  • Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrightspatents, and trademarks. It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.
  • Artistic works like music and literature, as well as some discoveries, inventions, words, phrases, symbols, and designs, can all be protected as intellectual property.


  • An intrapreneur is one who takes on entrepreneur-like ventures within a large corporate environment. Enlightened organisations would promote such individuals and a culture of internal innovation to engender a success mindset.

Joint Venture

  • A legal entity created by two or more businesses joining together to conduct a specific business enterprise with both parties sharing profits and losses. It differs from a strategic alliance in that there is a specific legal entity created

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

  • A legal entity that is not taxable itself and distributes the profits to its owners, but shields personal assets from business debt like a corporation.

Limited Partnership

  • A business arrangement in which the day-to-day operations are controlled by one or more general partners and funded by limited or silent partners who are legally responsible for losses based on the amount of their investment.

Line of Credit

  • Similar to a business loan, except that the borrower only pays interest on the amount actually used. Much like a credit card, the business makes periodic payments against the outstanding balance.


  • The process of researching, promoting, selling and distributing a product or service. Marketing covers a broad range of practices, including advertising, publicity, promotion, pricing, and overall packaging of the goods or services.


  • A joining together of two previously separate corporations. A true merger in the legal sense occurs when both businesses dissolve and move their assets and liabilities into a newly created entity.

Multi-level Marketing (MLM)

  • Any business in which a person receives proceeds not only from their own sales, but from the sales made by people they have signed up, and potentially people those people have signed up, and so on.

Network Marketing

  • A business in which a distributor network is needed to build the business. Usually, such businesses are also MLM (see above).


  • Developing business contacts to form business relationships, increase your knowledge, expand your business base, or serve the community.
  • Also used to describe linking computers systems together.


  • Purchasing standard operational services from another business.   Outsourced services typically including accounting, payroll, IT, advertising, and more.
  • For entrepreneurs the development of materials, websites, marketing content, diary management, will often be outsourced to the ‘gig-economy’ – UpWork, Fiverr etc – to allow the entrepreneur to focus their time on business building and sales.


  • A business form in which two or more individuals who carry on a continuing business for profit. A partnership is legally regarded as a group of individuals rather than as a single entity, and each of the partners file their share of the profits on their individual tax returns.


  • patent is a form of intellectual property. A patent gives its owner the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, and importing an invention for a limited period of time, usually twenty years. The patent rights are granted in exchange for a detailed public disclosure of the invention..


  • A process for documenting the detailed objectives, actions and resources to be undertaken and used to achieve a specified outcome.
  • A business plan will take a holistic view of the business over a given period, often between one and five years. Such plans will usually be reviewed and adjusted each year.
  • A project plan will have a specific objective to deliver a change in capability for an organisation.  It is usual for a fixed budget and timescale to be set to achieve the objective and planning to be conducted at a detailed task and individual (person) level.

Public Relations (PR)

  • The deliberate promotion of a specific image for a business. Often confused with publicity which may be only one part of a public relations effort.


  • The exchange of a product or service for money, also known as Revenue.
  • Also refers to the activity or department within a company that has responsibility for delivering Revenue.

Sole Proprietorship

  • A business owned and operated by one person, also known as a Solopreneur.

Strategic Alliance

  • An ongoing relationship between two businesses in which they combine efforts for a specific purpose.


  • A form of legal protection for words, names, symbols, sounds, or colors that distinguish goods and services. Trademarks, unlike patents, can be renewed forever as long as they are being used in business.

Venture Capital (VC)

  • A form of financing for a company in which the business gives up partial ownership and control of the business in exchange for capital over a limited time frame, usually 3-5 years.
  • Investments typically range from $500,000 to $5 million, although there are occasionally VC investments for as low as $50,000 or as high as $20 million.