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Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services).[need quotation to verify] Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit. It does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or have any such formal organization, but it can range from a street peddler to General Motors."

Having a business name does not separate the business entity from the owner, which means that the owner of the business is responsible and liable for debts incurred by the business. If the business acquires debts, the creditors can go after the owner's personal possessions. A business structure does not allow for corporate tax rates. The proprietor is personally taxed on all income from the business.

The term is also often used colloquially (but not by lawyers or by public officials) to refer to a company. A company, on the other hand, is a separate legal entity and provides for limited liability, as well as corporate tax rates. A company structure is more complicated and expensive to set up, but offers more protection and benefits for the owner.

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Panavision is an American motion picture equipment company specializing in cameras and lenses, based in Woodland Hills, California. Formed by Robert Gottschalk as a small partnership to create anamorphic projection lenses during the widescreen boom in the 1950s, Panavision expanded its product lines to meet the demands of modern filmmakers. The company introduced its first products in 1954. Originally a provider of CinemaScope accessories, the company's line of anamorphic widescreen lenses soon became the industry leader. In 1972, Panavision helped revolutionize filmmaking with the lightweight Panaflex 35 mm movie camera. The company has introduced other groundbreaking cameras such as the Millennium XL (1999) and the digital video Genesis (2004).

Panavision operates exclusively as a rental facility—the company owns its entire inventory, unlike most of its competitors.

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Office supplies being sold.
Photo credit: Marlith

Office supplies is the generic term that refers to all supplies regularly used in offices by businesses and other organizations, from private citizens to governments, who works with the collection, refinement, and output of information (colloquially referred to as "paper work"). The office supply industry was estimated to be worth US$ 225 billion in 1999 and is still growing. As of 2006, the largest office supply chains in the United States (in terms of revenue) are Staples (US$16B), Office Depot (US$15B), and OfficeMax (US$8.9B).

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"In most job markets the employer is not sure of the productive capabilities of an individual at the time he hires him. Nor will this information necessarily become available to the employer immediately after hiring. The job may take time to learn. Often specific training is required. And there may be a contract period within which no recontracting is allowed. The fact that it takes time to learn an individual's productive capabilities means that hiring is an investment decision. The fact that these capabilities are not known beforehand makes the decision one under uncertainty. To hire someone, then, is frequently to purchase a lottery. In what follows, I shall assume the employer pays the certain monetary equivalent of the lottery to the individual as wage. If he is risk-neutral the wage is taken to be the individual's marginal contribution to the hiring organization."

Michael Spence, Job Market Signaling, 1973

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