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Entrepreneur vs Business Owner: What’s the Difference?

entrepreneur vs business owner

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Chances are, you’ve gone your whole life working for someone else. This has its perks; not only do you have a steady paycheck, but you also have other benefits, such as paid time off, health insurance, and a pension plan.

However, working for others can become dull and tedious. Striking out on your own can be terrifying, yet satisfying too.

But just because you’re your own boss doesn’t mean you’re an entrepreneur. Contrary to popular belief, “entrepreneur” isn’t synonymous with “business owner”.

Read on to find out everything you need to know regarding the entrepreneur vs business owner debate.

What’s an Entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur is someone who identifies opportunities. They definitely take risks, although they’re carefully calculated ones.

Most importantly, they create innovative solutions to address problems or meet needs in the market. Because of that, entrepreneurs are known for their ability to come up with new ideas, develop business plans, secure funding, and build and scale businesses. They’re also known for their high degree of creativity, innovation, and willingness to take on big risks to achieve their goals.

Of course, entrepreneurs have to manage their existing businesses to keep a steady income. However, they also focus on creating new ventures and disrupting industries in their efforts.

What’s a Business Owner?

A business owner is exactly as it sounds: someone who owns and operates a business. This means it’s not as specific a term as “entrepreneur” is. In fact, entrepreneurs can be a type of business owner.

Anyone who has ownership of a business entity can call themselves a business owner. This is true even if they don’t actively participate in the day-to-day operations. If you don’t contribute to the company’s growth and innovation, you can still be a business owner too.

Entrepreneurs who have successfully launched and established their businesses fall under this title. In addition, those who have acquired or inherited businesses and manage them without driving innovation or taking substantial risks do too.

Entrepreneur vs Business Owner: Key Things to Know

Based on the specificity of each term, all entrepreneurs are business owners. However, not all business owners are entrepreneurs.

Another core difference is that business owners direct most (if not all) of their attention to managing and sustaining an existing enterprise. Entrepreneurs are more geared toward being dynamic people who thrive on innovation and disruption.

Of course, the terms can become blurry sometimes, as the roles can overlap. Remember that entrepreneurs can become business owners when their companies grow and mature.

Plus, business owners may inherently have entrepreneurial qualities. This is especially true when they’re pressured to expand, improve, or adapt their businesses to changing market conditions.

If you’re only talking casually with others, it’s acceptable to use one term for the other. But if you choose to make the distinction and educate others, that’s even better.

Self-Employed vs Business Owner vs Entrepreneur

To make things even more complicated, there’s another term often used with these two: self-employment.

Self-employment is when you work for yourself and provide products or services directly to consumers. There are several types of self-employment:

  • Sole proprietor
  • Freelancer
  • Consultant
  • Contractor

It can be extremely freeing to be a self-employed person. But you’re responsible for finding clients, managing your own work schedule, and handling administrative tasks.

Self-employed people are business owners, but usually on a much smaller scale. They may not be focused on creating innovative solutions or scaling their business significantly. This means they aren’t always entrepreneurs.

Again, the term “self-employed” can overlap with “business owner” and “entrepreneur”, depending on the individual you’re talking about. Your status isn’t a static one, and it’s common to fluctuate from one role to another as both your career and business endeavors evolve.

Want to Be Your Own Boss?

Now that you know the difference between being a business owner vs entrepreneur (and self-employed), one thing’s clear: business ownership and entrepreneurship both offer you a way to get out from working under someone else. While you’ll take on more risk, it’ll be fulfilling to have something to call your own.

Whichever path you choose, it’s likely that you’ll have to form and register a business. For most people, the optimal choice is a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs make a distinction between the owner and the company’s debts and liabilities, which means that if your company is sued, your personal finances won’t be impacted.

You can always form an LLC on your own, but it’s much simpler to have someone like Business Anywhere do it for you. Our business registration services are affordable and straightforward, which enables you to focus your efforts on logistics and other important topics.

entrepreneur vs business owner
If you want to own your own business, you’ll need to hustle! But it’ll be worth it.

What Else Does Business Anywhere Offer?

We don’t just help people like you set up their businesses. In addition, we provide virtual mailboxes. This allows you to work on your ventures from anywhere in the world, as we’ll collect and securely scan your mail so you can access the contents.

We also provide registered agent services, which is required for LLCs. This means we can receive official papers for your business.

Lastly, we have online notary services too. You’ll enjoy extreme convenience, as you won’t have to physically go to a notary.

One of our notaries will meet with you to get all the paperwork out of the way, then they’ll upload your notarized documents onto our dashboard. You can then access these digital documents from any device.

Join the World of Entrepreneurship

This article has now given you the vital information you should know about the entrepreneur vs. business owner topic.

Quitting your 9-to-5 job to become a business owner can be a wonderful step up, as you’ll answer to no one. However, taking it one step further to become an entrepreneur will be even more fulfilling, especially if you have an innovative mind.

If you do decide to pursue entrepreneurship, it won’t always be easy. Once you get things going though, you’ll definitely be rewarded with the fruits of your labor.

To launch your company and start your business venture, sign up with Business Anywhere today. We’ll get you set up in any state.

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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