Small Business Encyclopedia

About Encyclopedia

No matter what business topic you're interested in, you'll find our category list is an easy way to navigate our small-business encyclopedia. From Accounting and Advertising to Location and Operations, every topic offers information on the terms that matter most. And if you can't find what you need here, our "Terms A - Z" list makes tracking down terms a snap.

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Terms starting with: b

Balance Sheet

Definition: A financial statement that lists the assets, liabilities and equity of a company at a specific point in time and is used to calculate the net worth of a business. A basic tenet of double-entry book-keeping is that total assets (what a business owns) must equal liabilities plus equity (how the assets are financed). In other words, the balance sheet must balance. Subtracting liabilities from assets shows the net worth of the business A basic tenet of double-entry bookkeeping is that total assets (what a business owns) must equal liabilities plus equity (how the assets are financed). In other words, the balance sheet must balance.

Balloon Loan

Definition: A loan that requires a single, usually final, payment that is much greater than the payment preceding it

Bank Loans

Definition: A loan that a business owners gets from a bank

Bank Relationship

Definition: The rapport you establish with the bank with whom you conduct business transactions, which could help smooth the way when it comes to loan applications or special requests

Bankruptcy

Definition: A legal state of insolvency. A company deemed to be in this condition may choose protection under the law to allow a chance to reorganize (Chapter 11) or liquidate in an orderly fashion (Chapter 7).

Banner Ad

Definition: A rectangular-shaped ad that typically appears at the top of website pages

Benchmark

Definition: A standard or point of reference in measuring or judging the current value or success of your company in order to determine your future business plans

Benefits

Definition: A product or service's customer-oriented strengths; statements of a valuable product or service feature, with an emphasis on what the customer gets from the products

Billing

Definition: To invoice customers for payment

Bonding

Definition: A guarantee of performance required, either by law or consumer demand, for many businesses, most typically general contractors, temporary personnel agencies, janitorial companies and businesses with government contracts

Bonus

Definition: A monetary payment made to an employee over and above their standard salary or compensation package

Bootstrapping

Definition: To finance your company's startup and growth with the assistance of or input from others

Branch Office

Definition: A smaller, remotely located office that is separate from a company's corporate headquarters

Branding

Definition: The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products

Break-Even Analysis

Definition: A technique for analyzing how revenue, expenses and profit vary with changes in sales volume

Budgeting

Definition: Establishing a planned level of expenditures, usually at a fairly detailed level. A company may plan and maintain a budget on either an accrual or a cash basis.

Business Broker

Definition: A professional who assists in the buying and selling of businesses

Business Card

Definition: A small card identifying a person in connection with his or her business, given to a client, potential customer, etc.

Business Cycle

Definition: Periods during which a business, an industry or the entire economy expands and contracts

Business Incubator

Definition: An organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections

Business Interruption Insurance

Definition: Insurance coverage that protects a business in the event of natural disaster, fire or other extenuating circumstances that affects the ability of your company to conduct business

Business License

Definition: A legal document that grants you the right to operate a business in your city. Depending on your business, there are other licenses that may also be required.

Business Name

Definition: The name by which people know your business. Different from your dba--which is the legal name you register for your business, this is the name you'd use to advertise and sell your products and services.

Business Opportunity

Definition: Legal definitions vary; in its simplest terms, a business opportunity is a packaged business investment that allows the buyer to begin a business. The Federal Trade Commission and 25 states regulate the concept.

Business Permits

Definition: A legal document that offers proof of compliance with certain city or state laws regulating structural appearances and safety as well as the sale of products

Business Plan

Definition: A written document describing the nature of the business, the sales and marketing strategy, and the financial background, and containing a projected profit and loss statement

Buying a Business

Definition: An alternative to starting a business from scratch or buying a business opportunity that involves purchasing an existing business for sale

Free Business Tools

Forms

Forms

Download and customize these free forms:

Partnership Agreement

Cashflow Worksheet

Employment Application

Calculators

Calculators

Evaluate and analyze your financials:

Cash Flow

Starting Costs

Discounted Cash Flow

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