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.

Ads by Google

Terms starting with: d

Debt Financing

Definition: A method of financing in which a company receives a loan and gives its promise to repay the loan

Debt-to-Equity Ratio

Definition: A measure of the extent to which a firm's capital is provided by owners or lenders, calculated by dividing debt by equity. Also, a measure of a company's ability to repay its obligations. If ratios are increasing--more debt in relation to equity--the company is being financed by creditors rather than by internal positive cash flow which may be a dangerous trend.

Deductible Expenses

Definition: Expenditures for business items that have no future life (such as rent, utilities or wages) and are incurred in conducting normal business activities which a business owner may deduct from gross earned income for federal tax purposes

Delegation

Definition: The assignment to others of the authority for particular functions, tasks and decisions

Demographics

Definition: A statistical view of a population, generally including age, gender, income, schooling, occupation and so on

Depreciation

Definition: An expense item set up to express the diminishing life expectancy and value of any equipment (including vehicles). Depreciation is set up over a fixed period of time based on current tax regulation. Items fully depreciated are no longer carried as assets on the company books.

Direct Mail

Definition: A marketing effort that uses a mail service to deliver a promotional printed piece to your target audience

Direct Public Offering (DPO)

Definition: A situation in which a company sells its shares directly to the public without the help of underwriters

Direct Response TV Advertising

Definition: A marketing effort that encourages the target audience to respond directly to the advertiser: through the telephone, a business reply card, a coupon and so on

Discrimination Policy

Definition: A document that outlines your company policies in regards to discrimination in hiring and management practices

Distribution Models

Definition: The manner in which goods move from the manufacturer to the outlet where the consumer purchases them; in some marketplaces, it's a very complex channel, including distributors, wholesaler, jobbers and brokers.

Distributors

Definition: Individuals or businesses that purchase the right to sell ABC Corp.'s products but not the right to use ABC's trade name

Diversification

Definition: A risk-reduction strategy that involves adding product, services, location, customers and markets to your company's portfolio

Doing Business As (DBA)

Definition: The operating name of a company, as opposed to the legal name of the company. Some states require DBA or fictitious business name filings to be made for the protection of consumers conducting business with the entity.

Dollar-Cost Averaging

Definition: To invest, as in shares of stock, fixed amounts of money at regular intervals so as to buy more at lower prices ad less at higher prices

Drop Shipping

Definition: An arrangement between a business and the manufacturer or distributor of a product the business wishes to sell in which the manufacturer or distributor--and not the business--ships the product to the business's customers

Due Diligence

Definition: A reasonable investigation of a proposed investment deal and of the principals offering it before the transaction is finalized to check out an investment's worthiness; generally performed by the investor's attorney and accountant.

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

Ads by Google

Latest Articles

These 3 Organizations Are Working to Boost Female Entrepreneurs
Female Entrepreneurs

These 3 Organizations Are Working to Boost Female Entrepreneurs

Women remain a minority among entrepreneurs but there is increasing attention on leveling the playing field.
John Boitnott
The Woman Who Designed the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' Sign Has Died
Design

The Woman Who Designed the 'Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas' Sign Has Died

Nevada-born Betty Whitehead Willis was 91 years old.
Catherine Clifford
5 Antidotes for Chronic Digital Distraction
Distractions

5 Antidotes for Chronic Digital Distraction

Nobody can function in business without a smartphone but most could get more done if they paid it less attention.
Vineet Jain
Imagine If Your Smartphone Had a Second, Full-Size Screen
Far Out Tech

Imagine If Your Smartphone Had a Second, Full-Size Screen

It's possible -- and also pretty awesome -- thanks to this startup company.
Emily Price
7 LinkedIn Tools for Recruiting New Employees
Linkedin

7 LinkedIn Tools for Recruiting New Employees

Use these seven tools from LinkedIn to track down the best job candidates for your business.
Ted Prodromou
Why Entrepreneurs are Shepherds of Renaissance
Editor's Note

Why Entrepreneurs are Shepherds of Renaissance

Entrepreneur's editor-in-chief Amy Cosper proves why her degree in art history is relevant in business journalism, and why relevance is imperative in business.
Amy Cosper
3 Things to Make You Smarter About Your Mobile Strategy in 2015
Mobile Marketing

3 Things to Make You Smarter About Your Mobile Strategy in 2015

Mobile or apps? You've got some big decisions ahead.
James Briggs
That Time Google Almost Bought Tesla for $11 Billion
Elon Musk

That Time Google Almost Bought Tesla for $11 Billion

When Telsa almost bottomed out two years ago, Elon Musk turned to Larry Page to save it.
Kim Lachance Shandrow
Barbara Corcoran: Great Entrepreneurs Don't Have Time to Mourn Rejection (VIDEO)
Rejection

Barbara Corcoran: Great Entrepreneurs Don't Have Time to Mourn Rejection (VIDEO)

The 'Shark Tank' star's most important piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? 'You can't feel sorry for yourself.'
Geoff Weiss
A Busy Entrepreneur's 3-Step Guide to Reading Business Books
Books

A Busy Entrepreneur's 3-Step Guide to Reading Business Books

You don't have all the time in the world, so get organized before, during and after you turn those pages.
Andrew Cohen
Upping Its Security Cred, BlackBerry Buys Software Maker WatchDox
Acquisitions

Upping Its Security Cred, BlackBerry Buys Software Maker WatchDox

This is the latest in a line of acquisitions for BlackBerry.
Robot Buys Ecstacy With Bitcoin, Gets Arrested
Robots

Robot Buys Ecstacy With Bitcoin, Gets Arrested

It's all in the name of art, folks.
Home-Based Franchises That Are Home Runs
Home-based Business

Home-Based Franchises That Are Home Runs

Top franchises that get the job done from home or on the road.
Tracy Stapp Herold
Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalls All Products Over Listeria Worries
Recalls

Blue Bell Ice Cream Recalls All Products Over Listeria Worries

The company is taking an aggressive approach to safety after ice cream samples tested positive for the bacteria listeria.
Kate Taylor
Meet Color Genomics, the Startup That Wants to Make Genetic Testing Less Expensive
Genetic Testing

Meet Color Genomics, the Startup That Wants to Make Genetic Testing Less Expensive

The Silicon Valley startup just raised $15 million in funding from PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, Yahoo's Jerry Yang and other high-profile investors.
Leena Rao
More Articles