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Economy, Production of Goods and Services

Successful firms, modern economy, sole proprietorships, market economies, types of business organizations

Before goods and services can be distributed to households and consumed, they must be produced by someone, or by some business or organization. In the United States and other market economies, privately owned firms produce most goods and services using a variety of techniques. One of the most important is specialization, in which different firms make different kinds of products and individual workers perform specific jobs within a company.

Successful firms earn profits for their owners, who accept the risk of losing money if the products the firms try to sell are not purchased by consumers at prices high enough to cover the costs of production. In the modern economy, most firms and workers have found that to be competitive with other firms and workers they must become very good at producing certain kinds of goods and services.

Most businesses in the United States also operate under one of three different legal forms: corporations, partnerships, or sole proprietorships. Each of these forms has certain advantages and disadvantages. Because of that, these three types of business organizations often operate in different kinds of markets. For example, most firms with large amounts of money invested in factories and equipment are organized as corporations.

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