Types of Business

We may classify a business as Industry and Commerce based on functions. Industry includes activities involved in the conversion of raw materials into useful products.

It processes raw materials or semi-finished goods into finished goods.

For example, cotton is converted into cloth in textile industries, sugar is extracted from sugarcane in sugar industries, and automobiles are produced in automobile industries, and so on.

These activities are called industrial activities and the units that undertake these activities are called industrial enterprises

On the other hand, Commerce includes all those activities which are necessary for the exchange of goods and services. It refers to various activities that make goods available to consumers for consumption.

Trade, transportation, storage, packaging, etc. are all included in commerce. These activities are called commercial activities and the units that undertake these activities are called commercial enterprises.

Types of business are;

  1. Industry, and
  2. Commerce.


The industry refers to all business activities, which are connected with raising, producing and processing of goods and services.

They convert raw materials into useful products by the Business application or use of human or mechanical power these products are then sold.

Sometimes the term industry is used to represent a group of business enterprises engaged in producing similar products or providing similar service.

For example, all units engaged in producing automobiles, whether two-wheelers, three-wheelers or four-wheelers, together constitute the automobile industry.

Similarly, we find the film industry, banking industry, telecom industry and many more.

Types of Industry

Industries may be divided into three broad categories

  1. Primary Industries;
  2. Secondary Industries; and
  3. Tertiary Industries.

Let us learn further about these Industries.

  1. Primary Industries

Industries engaged in extracting, producing and processing natural resources like minerals, oil, agricultural products, plants, and animals, are called primary industries.

These industries use natural resources as their raw material and provide finished goods to consumers.

We may further classify these industries into;

  1. Extractive Industries

These industries are engaged in the extraction of minerals, oil, and natural gas from the earth, fish from the sea, timber from the forest, etc. Mining, forestry, fishing are examples of extractive industries.

The distinctive feature of these industries is that they use natural resources and the materials once extracted or used cannot be replaced.

  1. Genetic Industries

These industries are engaged in rearing and breeding birds and animals and growing plants for sale.

Agriculture, dairy farming, poultry farming, pisciculture (breeding fish), horticulture, orchard farming, floriculture (growing flowers) are examples of genetic industries.

  1. Secondary Industries

Secondary industries are those industries that engage in the production or processing of items produced by primary industries.

They use the products of primary industries as their raw materials and produce a variety of goods for our use.

For example- iron ore is extracted from the earth by primary industries. This is used as raw material by the secondary industries to produce iron and steel for our use.

Thus, mining of iron ore is a primary industry but the manufacturing of iron and steel is a secondary industry.

We may further classify secondary industries as;

  1. Manufacturing Industries

Industries engaged in the conversion of raw materials or semi-finished products into finished products are called manufacturing industries. For example, cotton is converted into textile, timber into furniture, iron-ore into steel, bauxite into aluminum, etc.

  1. Construction Industries

Industries engaged in the erection of buildings, dams, bridges, roadways, railways are called construction industries.

They use the products of other industries as their raw materials and construct different types of structures as per the requirements of the consumers.

  1. Tertiary industries

Industries providing services to consumers are called tertiary industries. These activities may include personal services like medical treatment, nursing, teaching, etc., or commercial services like transport, banking, insurance, etc.

Based on functions, we have classified a business as industry and commerce and till now we have discussed the industry and its types. Let us find out more about Commerce.


You have learned about various types of industries that deal with the production of goods and services.

The question arises, why are these goods and services produced?

Industries produce goods and services for consumption or use by the consumers.

But, how do the consumers get these goods?

You know that goods and services are of no use unless these are made available to the persons who can use them. Here comes the role of Commerce.

Commerce includes all those activities which facilitate the transfer of goods and services from one place to another or from one person to another.

It deals with the movement of goods from the person who produces them to the person who consumes them.

Commerce is defined as “the total of activities involving the removal of hindrances in the process of exchange of goods and services and facilitates the availability for consumption or use”.

Types of Commerce

Types of commerce are;

  1. Trade
  2. Auxiliaries to trade/aids to trade.


Trade means buying and selling of goods and services on a continuous or regular basis. It refers to the exchange of goods and services for cash or on credit.

A person who buys goods for selling is known as a trader. The shopkeepers of your locality who buy goods from the producers and other shops for selling are traders.

There are many persons engaged in trading activities in different ways.

Some traders buy goods in bulk and also sell in bulk. Some sell goods in the local market while others sell in the international market.

So, according to the nature of the activities of all these traders, we may classify trade as Home trade and foreign trade.

Types of Trade

  1. Home trade.
  2. Foreign trade.

Home Trade

(Home Trade refers to buying and selling of goods and services within the boundaries of a country. It is also known as internal trade or domestic trade.

Payment for goods and services in home trade is made in the currency of the home country.

Thus, goods sold by a trader in Brooklyn to a buyer in New York or the same locality, village or town are called home trade.

Home trade may also be of two types: Wholesale trade and retail trade.

Wholesale trade involves the purchase of goods in large quantities from producers for sale to other traders or buyers in smaller quantities.

Generally, the wholesale trader deals in a limited variety of goods. The person who does wholesale trading is known as a wholesaler.

Retail trade refers to the purchase of goods from the wholesalers or producers for sale to the ultimate consumers in smaller quantities.

The retail trader generally has a variety of goods needed by consumers. The person who does retail trading is known as a retailer.

Foreign trade

Foreign trade refers to buying and selling of goods or services between people living in different countries. It is also known as External trade or International trade.

Payment for goods or services is required to be made in the currency of the seller’s country or the currency acceptable to the seller.

Foreign trade may be sub­divided into three categories, viz.

  1. Import Trade.
  2. Export Trade.
  3. Entrepot Trade

When goods or services are purchased from a foreign country for selling in our own country, it is known as import trade. Similarly, when goods and services are sold to a foreign country it is called export trade.

When goods or services are imported into one country to export the same to some other country with or without making any change, it is known as entrepot trade or re­export trade.

Such types of trade may be necessary due to the reason that;

  1. the exporting country does not have any accessible trade routes connecting the importing country, or
  2. the goods imported require processing or finishing before export for which facilities are lacking in the exporting or importing countries).

Aids to Trade

You know that commerce includes not only buying and selling of goods and services but also several activities that facilitate the distribution of goods and services.

For example, a trader who buys goods from a producer must carry the goods to his shop located in a market. He must hire a cart or truck or some other means of transport.

Having carried the goods to his place of business, he must arrange proper storage of the goods to prevent damage or loss.

Also, he may have to insure the goods as a means of protection against the risk of loss by theft or fire. He will also require money to buy or store the goods before selling the same.

He may have to borrow money from the bank. In the process of buying and selling, he may have to contact many other persons by using the telephone or any other means of communication.

Thus, transport, warehousing, insurance, and banking communication, etc., are activities that facilitate the business of a trader. Taken together these activities are known as auxiliaries or aids to trade.

Thus, we can say that activities that support trade are the auxiliaries or aids to trade. The activities or services may farther be enumerated as follows:

  • Transportation (Hindrance of Place),
  • Banking (Hindrance of Finance).
  • Warehousing(Hindrance of Time.
  • Insurance(Hindrance of Risk).
  • Promotion(Hindrance of Knowledge).
  • Communication(Hindrance of Information).

To sum up, commerce stands on seven pillars of business-trade, transport, banking, warehouse, insurance, promotion, and communication. And these are supplementary as well as complementary to each other.

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