DEFINITION of 'Profit'

A financial benefit that is realized when the amount of revenue gained from a business activity exceeds the expenses, costs and taxes needed to sustain the activity. Any profit that is gained goes to the business's owners, who may or may not decide to spend it on the business.

Calculated as:



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Profit is the money a business makes after accounting for all the expenses. Regardless of whether the business is a couple of kids running a lemonade stand or a publicly traded multinational company, consistently earning profit is every company's goal.

The path toward profitability can be long. For example, online bookseller was founded in 1994 and did not produce its first annual profit until 2003. Many start ups and new businesses fail when the owners run out of capital to sustain the business.

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