Business Entity Concept Broader Look With Example

the business entity concept means that

The principles of double-entry accounting apply to all forms of business organisation, as well as not-for-profit organisations. A corporation is the most popular form of business because it protects the owners with limited liability. Different forms of partnerships like LLCs and LLPs have limited liability protection.

  • Therefore the accounting records for even the simplest business, the sole trader, must be kept separate from the personal affairs of the owner or owners.
  • It needs resources to be able to operate and those resources have to be financed.
  • Under the business entity concept, it is assumed that for the purpose of accounting practices, businesses and their owners are two separate entities.
  • A business exists primarily to produce goods and services at minimum cost and then sell them for a profit.
  • The business entity concept states that the business is separate from the owner(s) of the business.
  • Different forms of partnerships like LLCs and LLPs have limited liability protection.

While some businesses, particularly partnerships and proprietary concerns are managed by the owners, many business enterprises are managed by persons other than their owners. For example, when the owner invests additional capital of $5,000 into the business, the entry made in the books records an increase in cash and an increase in capital both of $5,000. No entry is made for the reduction of cash in the owner’s bank account. My Accounting Course  is a world-class educational resource developed by experts to simplify accounting, finance, & investment analysis topics, so students and professionals can learn and propel their careers. It would be strictly recorded as company’s liability and that has to be paid back to the owner. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications.


The business entity concept of accounting is applicable to all types of business organizations (i.e., sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation) even if a law does not recognize a business and its owner as the separate entities. Legally, under many jurisdiction, sole traders and partnerships are not separate from its owners because owners have unlimited liability. Having unlimited liability means if business entity fails to pay its liabilities through its assets and resources, owners’ assets and resources will be annexed to pay off liabilities.

The purpose of adopting the concept of business entity is to maintain a clear distinction between transactions that are related to the business operations of the entity and those that are not. The concept of the business as a legal entity that is distinct from its owners has been largely accepted in the contemporary business landscape, but only for corporations. They include the owners, which are the shareholders (in the case of a corporation), partners (in the case of partnership firms), or proprietors (in the case of proprietary concerns). The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Wherever transactions relating to persons or bodies within the business enterprise do arise, they are carefully separated so that the determination of the results of operations of the business entity itself is not in any way obstructed.

Importance/need of business entity concept

The legal concept has not yet been extended to partnership firms and proprietary businesses. However, it is still necessary that, for purposes of accounting, all transactions should specifically relate to the operations of the business entity itself. There are many types of business entities, such as sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and government entities. Separate entity concept however, must not be confused with separate legal entity concept as application of an accounting concept does overrule legal concepts that varies from one situation and jurisdiction to another. Business entity concept is also called separate entity concept, separate economic entity concept. Mr. John has acquired a floor of a building having 3 halls for $1,500 per month.

We’ve pioneered distance learning for over 50 years, bringing university to you wherever you are so you can fit study around your life. Anyone can learn for free on OpenLearn, but signing-up will give you access to your personal learning profile and record of achievements that you earn while you study. Our team of reviewers are established professionals with decades of experience in areas of personal finance and hold many advanced degrees and certifications. A business exists primarily to produce goods and services at minimum cost and then sell them for a profit.

Separate entity vs Separate legal entity

If you’re new to university-level study, read our guide on Where to take your learning next, or find out more about the types of qualifications we offer including entry level

Access modules, Certificates, and Short Courses. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs. This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible. In addition to the managers, there are employees and workers who perform specific tasks under the overall supervision of the owners or managers. Examine the accounting principles definition, and identify who sets fundamental accounting principles. Our goal is to deliver the most understandable and comprehensive explanations of financial topics using simple writing complemented by helpful graphics and animation videos.

the business entity concept means that

In particular, members and the Company both have separate legal entities. This concept has made the analysis of accounting information very easy and results-oriented. Transactions related to the owner are not recorded in the books of accounts of the business nor are the owner’s personal assets and liabilities in the balance sheet of the business. However, accounting records are based on the assumption that a business unit is a separate person.


Although the owners have a very important role as members owning a part of a business entity, their activities generally do not contribute to making profit and loss. Therefore, those activities are not relevant for the purpose of accounting information about the business itself. Thus, when people look at a firm’s income statement or balance sheet, they automatically assume that the documents strictly show the income and financial position of the business only, not of its owner(s).

There are a number of reasons for the business entity concept, including the need to separately track taxes, financial performance, and financial position for each entity. It is also useful for when an organization is liquidated, to determine the amounts of payouts to the various owners. Further, the business entity concept is needed from a liability perspective, to ascertain the assets available in the event of a legal judgment against a business entity. And finally, it is not possible to audit the records of a business if the records have been combined with those of other entities and/or individuals. The business entity concept (also known as separate entity and economic entity concept) states that the transactions related to a business must be recorded separately from those of its owners and any other business entity.