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What is the single word which means to start a company or business?

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5 Answers 5

People usually simply start or set up a company or a business. The company may then be incorporated.

Incorporate:

2 constitute (a company, city, or other organization) as a legal corporation

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Launch is another one that can be used, though less so. –  amanda witt Mar 3 '13 at 5:32
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Related: The word start is used so often that the word start-up is a noun that means "a new business." –  J.R. Mar 3 '13 at 11:46

Establish: to found, institute, build, or bring into being on a firm or stable basis: to establish a university; to establish a medical practice. (Dictionary.com)

For example, someone discussing their business plans might say "Our goal is to be established by June of this year."

"Ford Motor company was established in Dearborn, Michigan."

Synonym is found

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Any word for originating a project can be applied to a business: start, create, etc.

But most commonly, to start an enterprise is to found it, and the person who does so is its founder. Being named a founder or co-founder of a company has some impact on the allocation of equity of a startup, and there is a small industry in Silicon Valley that connects entrepreneurs with possible co-founders (e.g. mating someone with a great business idea with someone with the technical skills to implement it).

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Believe it or not, the word "enterprise", may be used as a transitive verb. (source, Webster's Online Dictionary)

So you can say, for example, "I will enterprise my business by the end of this month."

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That sentence doesn't sound right. 'Enterprise' is hardly ever used as a verb. –  Mitch Mar 5 '13 at 12:05
    
@Mitch, Click on my link, it supports "enterprise" as a verb. If that link is down, which it might be, try this one: machaut.uchicago.edu/… –  eazar001 Mar 5 '13 at 12:06
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Dictionaries have a hard time giving good frequency information. I'm only one native speaker but your sentence sounds really wrong. –  Mitch Mar 5 '13 at 12:09
    
What do you mean by frequency information? A lot of people would intuitively judge 'hazard a guess' as incorrect sounding, because most people think of hazard as a noun (and it is, of course). But it is in fact, correct usage of the word. –  eazar001 Mar 5 '13 at 12:10
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Frequency information = how common or rare a usage is. Making a verb out of 'enterprise' is rare (I've never heard that before, it sounds wrong, and it would take an excess of confidence of even a native speaker to use it that way). –  Mitch Mar 5 '13 at 12:16

'Found', 'establish', start up', etc.

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