Business Definitions – L

labor – The labor costs associated with making goods to be sold. This labor is part of the cost of sales, part of the manufacturing and assembly. The row heading refers to fulfillment costs as well, for service companies.

laggards – One type of adopter in Everett Rogers’ diffusion of innovations framework describing the risk adverse group that follows the late majority that is generally not interested in new technology and are the last group of customers to buy.

Leveraged Buy-Out (LBO) – A type of purchase of a business that relies heavily on the venture’s cash receipts with expectations of positive cash flow continuing based on historical or other performance indicators.

liabilities – Debts; money that must be paid. Usually debt on terms of less than five years is called short-term liabilities, and debt for longer than five years in long-term liabilities.

life cycle – A model depicting the sales volume cycle of a single product, brand, service or a class of products or services over time described in terms of the four phases of introduction, growth, maturity and decline.

limited (public) company (AUS) – (Australia) A public Limited Company is one where the right to transfer shares and the number of members is not limited. In addition, the company may invite the public to subscribe for its shares and, to deposit money with the company.

Limited Liability Company (LLC) – The LLC form is different for different states, with some real advantages in some states that aren’t relevant in others. An LLC is usually a lot like an S corporation, a combination of some limitatiuon on legal liability and some favorable tax treatment for profits and transfer of assets. This is a newer form of legal entity, and often harder to establish than a corporation. Why would you establish an LLC instead of a corporation? That’s a tough legal question, not one we can answer here. In general, the LLC has to be missing two of the four characteristics of a corporation (limited liability, centralized management, continuity of life, and free transferability of ownership interest). Still, with the advisability and advantages varying from state to state, here again, this is a question to take to a good local attorney with small business experience.

limited liability partnership (U.S., UK, Japan) – A form of business organization combining elements of partnerships and corporations, in which both managing and non-managing partners are protected from liability to some degree, and have a different tax liability than in a corporation. Although this form of business is available in the U.S., the UK, and Japan, legal details of forming and operating such a company vary from one country to another, and by state within the U.S.

long-term assets – Assets like plant and equipment that are depreciated over terms of more than five years, and are likely to last that long, too.

long-term interest rate – The interest rate charged on long-term debt.

long-term liabilities – This is the same as long-term loans. Most companies call a debt long-term when it is on terms of five years or more.

loss – Loss is an accounting concept, the exact opposite of profit, normally the bottom line of the Income Statement, which is also called Profit or Loss statement. Start with sales, subtract all costs of sales and all expenses, and that produces profit before tax. Subtract tax to get net profit. If the end result is negative, then instead of profit it is called loss.

loyalty programs – Activities designed to encourage repeat purchasing through a formal program enrollment process and the distribution of benefits. Loyalty programs may also be referred to as frequency marketing.