What is a Primary Activity?

One of the questions the federal government wants to know about businesses as they start up, is what type of products or services are they going to be marketing, and in what area is their primary activity going to be.

Those primary activities can include construction, food service, healthcare, insurance, manufacturing, finance, real estate, rentals and leasing, retail, social assistance, transportation, warehousing, wholesale agent broker, wholesale other and other.

Interestingly, a person could have a business selling vehicles, a car dealer for instance.? What category would they be?? Transportation, retail, wholesaler?? If they sell service contracts, for instance to people who buy vehicle from them, they might be also selling insurance products.? They also might be financing the vehicles themselves (a Buy Here Pay Here operation where they collect the interest and payments at the dealership, not at a bank.).

Which category would they be primary in?? We would suggest the retail category, if they sold to consumers, with sidelines of wholesale buying and selling, such as dealer only auctions.? If they did little to no sales to consumers, then they would likely be wholesale other or wholesale agent broker A broker, however, usually does not own the product they are selling, and is usually an agent of the buyer, not the seller of the product.

Another example would be a company that produces freeze dried foods to other vendors.? While they would transport those products large distances, certainly transportation is not a primary activity.? Food service is a good second choice, but manufacturing is probably the best choice, as they are not actually serving anyone directly, nor are they dealing with the end user, only with the company making a large bulk order to certain specifications, such as customer packing.

About Monty King
Monty King has worked at the Oregon Legislature and ran political campaigns, graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Public Affairs in 1978 (while working at the Oregon Legislature) He is a 3 time Viet Nam Veteran.

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