Updated: 03/05/2023 by Computer Hope

Enterprise may refer to any of the following:

Enterprise example of a large corporate skyscraper building

1. When referring to a company or organization, an enterprise is a company of individuals formed to conduct business.

Enterprise vs. business

The terms business and enterprise are very similar and often used interchangeably. The primary difference between the two is that an enterprise is generally a larger organization with more departments, divisions, infrastructure, and complexity. A small business like Computer Hope LLC (limited liability company) is run by only a few individuals. However, an enterprise like IBM has thousands of employees and locations spread across the world.

In addition to having more employees and locations, an enterprise can deal with thousands or millions of different products and services. Running and maintaining an enterprise requires enterprise software like an ERP (enterprise resource planning) and other custom solutions that a small business would not need. For example, many small businesses can handle much of their work through a shared spreadsheet. An enterprise with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of employees worldwide need better solutions, such as a database in the cloud.

Enterprises (corporations) can also be a legal entity with the ability to conduct business under their name. For example, an enterprise can be entered into contracts, open bank accounts, incur liabilities, and own property under the enterprise's name.

What is the owner of an enterprise called?

The individual running an enterprise is called the CEO (chief executive officer).

Can my company be an enterprise?

Yes. Any company (small business, corporation, quasi-corporation, and non-profit) could be classified as an enterprise. However, a company with less than 250 employees may want to consider using SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) to help indicate they're a small enterprise. When dealing with B2B (business-to-business) companies, an enterprise may be charged more than a small business because of the complexities of the solutions.

What is enterprise software?

Enterprise software or enterprise applications is software designed to help run and ideally automate work required to run an enterprise. Below are examples.

2. With Microsoft Windows, Enterprise is a version designed for enterprise clients that's been an option since Windows NT 4.0. See our Microsoft Windows page for further information about Windows and its versions.

3. When discussing older computers, Enterprise was a computer first released on June 23, 1985, for the UK and Hungary markets. The computer had a 4 MHz (megahertz) Z80 CPU, 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM, and a 32 KB ROM with the EXOS operating system and a basic word processor.

Business terms