‘Business's or Business' or Businesses': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on January 29, 2024

Are you wondering whether to use 'business's' or 'business' or 'businesses?' I can help!

Before we get into it, here is a quick overview: 

  • 'Business's' is the possessive single form of the word 'business.'
  • 'Business' is the single form of the noun defined as an activity engaged in as a means of livelihood. 
  • 'Businesses' is the plural form of the noun 'business.'

There is much more to learn about the meaning of each of these forms of 'business.' So, to learn how and when to use each, keep reading!

What's the Difference Between 'Business's,' 'Business,' and 'Businesses?'

  • 'Business' is the singular form of the noun defined as an activity engaged in as a means of earning income or a livelihood.
  • 'Businesses' is the plural form of the word, which you use to refer to more than one 'business.'
  • Business's' is the singular possessive form of the noun. So, it refers to the possessions or assets owned by a company.

Tips: When and How to Use 'Business's,' 'Business,' and 'Businesses'

Knowing the difference between terms and understanding how to use them are two different things. So, here are some tips to help you learn how to use each form of 'business' grammatically.

  • Use 'business's' when referring to the possessions of a single company.

For example, I might say:

The business's employees are determined to turn the company around. 

  • Use 'business' as a noun to reference a single company or stream of income.

As an example, you could say:

After the success of his business, Carlton was finely able to finance the life he had dreamed about for so long. 

  • Use 'businesses' to refer to more than one business.

So, you can say:

The businesses worked together to improve their industry safety and compliance regulations. 

Definition of 'Business's': What Does 'Business's' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, there is no specific definition of 'business's' because the term is the singular possessive tense of the noun 'business.'

When you add, 's to the end of the word, it indicates the possession of something by the 'business.' So, the definition of 'business's' is:

  • A form of business indicating that a single business or entity possesses something

Definition of 'Business': What Does 'Business' Mean?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines 'business' as a noun that means:

  • An activity that is typically commercial or mercantile in nature engaged in as a source of income or livelihood
  • An industrial or commercial enterprise
  • Patronage or dealings economic in nature
  • A function or role
  • A mission, task, or objective
  • A particular endeavor
  • A personal concern, matter, or affair
  • A serious task that usually requires focus and the absence of distractions
  • A creation or concoction
  • Action by an actor to create atmosphere or context
  • An assault
  • A bowel movement

Definition of 'Businesses': What Does 'Businesses' Mean?

The same defines 'businesses' as the plural form of the noun 'business.' So, 'businesses' means:

  • More than one activity that is commercial or mercantile in nature and engaged in as a source of income or livelihood
  • More than one industrial or commercial enterprises

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Business's' or 'Business' or 'Businesses'

When it comes to terms like these, proper pronunciation is critical. Otherwise, people will not understand you.

So, here is a pronunciation guide you can reference. 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'business's':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'business':


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'businesses':


Sample Sentences Using 'Business's' or 'Business' or 'Businesses'

Now, here are some sample sentences using each term. Read them to ensure that you know and remember for to use each form of 'business' grammatically.


  • Since the business's formation, BlackRock has become one of the most successful investing firms in the world.
  • The business's customers are loyal to its original product line.
  • I love your business's new website. Did you hire someone to redesign it?
  • When the business's earnings report came out, investors started scrambling to sell stock in the company.
  • The family business's success story is incredible.
  • If your business's financials are not in order, it will be challenging to file your taxes at the end of the year.
  • You should keep the business's records in a central location so other employees can help you maintain them.


  • Before you start a business, you should consult with an attorney.
  • Going into business is stressful and requires determination, but it is worth the effort.
  • You cannot run a successful business if you are never at the office.
  • The business has an extensive list of vendors and suppliers.
  • Your business is one of my favorites. How did you develop your brand and company culture?
  • If your business is failing, you must act quickly! Otherwise, your company may have to file for bankruptcy.
  • The business is the only of its kind in our state.


  • The businesses put their resources together to help each other.
  • If you like to learn about businesses, you should watch this YouTube video.
  • Some of the most successful businesses in the world started out as small businesses.
  • Many businesses fail before they ever get off the ground.
  • The best businesses in the country improve the quality of life of their employees and clients.
  • Businesses like yours make a difference in the world.
  • It is easy to see why people support businesses like these. They offer impeccable customer service.

Recap of the Difference Between 'Business's' or 'Business' or 'Businesses'

Congratulations! You are almost finished with this lesson. But before you go, here is a recap of what you learned about 'business's' or 'business' or 'businesses':

  • 'Business's' is the singular possessive form of the noun 'business.' 
  • 'Business' is a noun that means an activity or enterprise engaged in as a livelihood or with the purpose of generating income. 
  • 'Businesses' is the plural form of the word 'business,' and it refers specifically to two or more companies or enterprises. 

Whether you are new to the English language or a native speaker, the meanings of various forms of terms can be challenging to remember. So, if you need a reminder, you can always return to this page for a quick review.

If you are unsure of the correct meaning, pronunciation, spelling, or usage of any other words or phrases, you can look them up in the confusing words section here.

Each guide summarizes the answer to the topic and provides a detailed explanation with definitions, examples, and more. So, they are an excellent way to improve your written and verbal communication skills.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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