What is a commercial enterprise?

The term "commercial enterprise" is commonly used in business. The term is broad, but its meaning must be understood by anyone involved in business. Differentiating commercial and non-commercial enterprises is simple if you are familiar with the definition of a commercial enterprise.


A commercial enterprise is any undertaking that seeks to engage in a profitmaking (i.e. commercial) activities. In simpler terms, a commercial enterprise is a business.


There are many types of commercial enterprises. The simplest form of commercial enterprise is a sole proprietorship, a business with a single owner. Commercial enterprises also include partnerships, cooperatives, corporations and other business forms. In short, any type of business is a commercial enterprise.

What It Is Not

There are several types of enterprises that are not commercial enterprises. These include social enterprises, non-profit organisations and government organisations. Any enterprise that exists for a reason other than commercial exploitation cannot be considered a commercial enterprise.