Beginner Business English Vocabulary: Top 51 Terms

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The business acumen of every person starts by building a working vocabulary to participate in the business world. If you want to get ahead in your career, create your own business, or simply improve your communication skills, learning these key vocabulary for business will give you a competitive edge.

The beginner business English vocabulary includes technical terms or jargon, idioms, and common business abbreviations.

5 Tips That Every Business English Beginner Should Follow to Develop Strong Business Vocabulary Comprehension

Business vocabulary is the basic component of business English you must learn. You need to understand the meaning of the words to communicate effectively with your customers and colleagues. If you want to improve your business vocabulary, here are five tips that will help you as a beginner:

1. Read resources about your target industry

Vocabulary budling always starts with reading. By reading news articles, blogs, or books about your target industry, your mind is trained to unlock the meaning of the English business vocabulary writers use in sentences.

Start reading short articles about the topic you want to learn. For example, if you’re interested in finance, read the business page of an English newspaper and finance magazines.

2. Dedicate a personal notebook to log your word bank

While reading, highlight the terms you encounter and write them in a notebook. Writing helps you retain information, and creating a word bank serves as your reference for future use.

In structuring your notebook on English vocabulary for business, write the term or word first, followed by its definition. You can also add synonyms and use the word in a sentence to better understand its meaning.

3. Listen to business podcasts, news, and audiobooks

Listening to audio materials like podcasts enriches your vocabulary and comprehension. Because through it, you can further observe the business English words in action. You learn their proper pronunciation and how the context of the terms.

Moreover, you also get a chance to improve your listening skills and adopt how a native speaker sounds when speaking.

4. Speak and practice your business English

Speaking and practicing your business English communication skill is one of the best ways to improve your vocabulary. Speaking puts to the test if you know how to use the words you learned in a conversation. It also serves as your feedback for improvement.

Along with developing your vocabulary is increasing your confidence in speaking the language. Therefore, always seek and create the opportunity for you to speak English in a business setting.

5. Use LillyPad.AI to consolidate your learning process

To not feel overwhelmed as a beginner, you can use Lillypad.AI as an all-in-one language learning platform to study and develop your business English basic vocabulary. LillyPad.AI is an artificial intelligence tutor that features vocabulary, pronunciation, and spelling improvement.

You can upload your own resources, access various books, and watch videos to immerse yourself in the English language. As a personalized app, LillyPad.AI will curate vocabulary words and activities appropriate for your level.

Aside from that, LillyPad.AI also tracks your progress and sets your study sessions by reminding you of your goals. Thus, keeping you motivated to continue learning.

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51 Basic Business English Vocabulary Words for Beginners:

1. Agenda

The word “agenda” is commonly used in business meetings. It is the first document sent to the meeting attendees along with the invitation. The “agenda” contains the meeting time, date, and location, followed by the list of business topics to be discussed during the meeting. The purpose of an agenda is to structure the meeting for success by keeping the flow of discussion in order.

Example of “agenda” in a sentence:

Kindly add revisiting our business plan to the agenda for the quarterly meeting. We need to check if we are still on track.

2. Minutes

Minutes don’t refer to the literal duration of a meeting lasted. In a business context, minutes (or minutes of the meeting), refer to the brief record of salient notes on the discussions, motions, and actions taken. Minutes include names of all participants divided into those who are present and absent. It also includes acceptance of or amendments made to the previous minutes and decisions regarding each topic on the agenda.

Example of “minutes” in a sentence:

Lilly will record the minutes of the meeting regarding the rectification of our company handbook.

3. Business Leadership

Business leadership refers to the capacity of a company’s management team to lead the organization effectively. The practice of business leadership uses various techniques and tools, such as strategic planning, financial analysis, marketing strategy, and human resource development. Aside from that, business leadership also refers to the skill of a company’s executives to inspire action and motivate their team members to achieve their goals.

Example of “business leadership” in a sentence:

The business leadership of Company X saved the company from bankruptcy. Now, their company is leading in the market and hired more employees, negating the rumors that there will be a retrenchment.

4. Deadline

A deadline is an organizational tool set to ensure that tasks are completed within a specified period. When deadlines are not met, they often result in stress and pressure among the team members. Therefore, a deadline measures the efficiency of employees and facilitates the flow of work.

Example of “deadline” in a sentence:

The content marketing team has a one-week deadline to produce materials for all our social media platforms and schedule them for posting next week.

5. Invoice

An invoice is an official document that shows the seller’s charges for selling goods or services to a buyer. Its purpose is to collect payment from the buyer. An invoice contains information about the sale and its terms. It also includes the customer’s name, the amount due, the date of purchase, and the product or type of service provided.

Example of “invoice” in a sentence:

The air-conditioning company sent the invoice to be paid in a week amounting to $1500. It says that we have a 12-year warranty for the central air-conditioning unit.

6. ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival

ETA or Estimated Time of Arrival is one of the basic business terms in the logistics and aviation industry. It means the expected delivery date of a shipment or arrival of a plane at a designated point. This term is commonly used in purchasing or procurement areas of a company, fleet management, and in setting flight appointments or schedules.

Example of ETA – Expected Time of Arrival in a sentence:

The meeting time is on Friday at 11:00 AM, so make sure that the ETA of the machines to be inspected is before Friday as we cannot move the date any further.

7. Client

Client refers to someone who purchases professional advice and solutions from another person or company. In business, clients can be individuals, companies, government agencies, or non-profit organizations. Examples of client-based services are law firms, insurance, real estate, and marketing agencies.

Example of “client” in a sentence:

The business consultant’s client wants to change his business model by keeping abreast with new marketing strategies.

8. Customer

A customer is an individual who buys products or services from a store or business. Customers buy products because they need them, like food, clothing, or household items. They also purchase services like medical care, travel, plumbing, or house repair.

Example of “customer” in a sentence:

The customer wants to buy a cordless vacuum cleaner, but the product is out of stock.

9. Business Project

A business Project is a short-term activity that requires planning, organizing, coordinating, and evaluating human and material resources to accomplish specific objectives within a given time. Improving an office environment to increase productivity is an example of a business project.

Example of “business project” in a sentence:

His new business project is to improve the online marketing performance of that small business by 50%.

10. HR – Human Resources

The HR or Human Resources are part of a company structure involved in the recruitment process and employee training. They manage the employees’ compensation and benefits, including health care, retirement plans, and other forms of compensation.

Example of HR – “Human Resources” in a sentence:

After processing the results of the employee survey, HR proposed to pay all employees a bonus based on their performance.

11. Low-hanging fruit

Low-hanging fruit is a business idiom that means a task or project that is easy to accomplish or an uncomplicated problem. Just like a tree with low-hanging fruits, tasks deemed to be like a low-hanging fruit are easy to reach or accomplish.

Example of “low-hanging fruit” in a sentence:

The company saw offering an alternative version of their product as a low-hanging fruit that could contribute to their business success.

12. Business Plan

A business plan is an outline of what a company intends to do and how it hopes to accomplish those things. It includes information about your products, services, target market, financial projections, and marketing strategies.

Example of “business plan” in a sentence:

We need to address our customers’ clamor to reduce unnecessary packaging in the revision of our business plan.

13. CEO – Chief Executive Officer

A CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is a corporation’s highest-ranking executive officer. The CEO is appointed by the board of directors and reports directly to the board. The CEO’s overall responsibility for the company’s operations is crafting its strategies, policies, and practices.

Example of CEO – “Chief Executive Officer” in a sentence:

He was promoted to chief executive officer because he successfully led the company through several difficult years as the chief operating officer.

14. Start-up

Start-up is a part of business terms in English which means a new business venture or a company in its initial stage of development. It is a small-scale business with low capital requirements and few employees. It does not have significant assets yet, but its founders are working hard to create a sustainable business model.

Example of “start-up” in a sentence:

He resigned from his corporate job to focus on the start-up company he established with his friends.

15. Sales Representative

Sales representatives (or agents) sell products or services for a company or brand. They manage the relationship with customers by providing them with information about products or services, making sales calls, and closing sales.

Example of “sales representative” in a sentence:

The sales representative has excellent communication skills and good interpersonal relations, that’s why she made the most sales this month.

16. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is a process of generating ideas and solutions in groups. A team leader facilitates a brainstorming session and encourages group members to share their ideas.

Example of “brainstorming” in a sentence:

We encountered a problem in creating the proposal but it was easily solved through a productive brainstorming session.

17. Payslip

A payslip or pay stub is the documentation of the income statement of employees. It contains all the details about an employee’s salary, deductions, and tax payments. Payslips are issued every salary period for employees.

Example of “payslip” in a sentence:

After checking his payslip, he noticed that his commissions are not reflected in the amount he received.

18. Business Meeting

A business meeting is a gathering of business people to discuss plans, goals, strategies, and problems for a company. Formal business meetings include board and committee meetings. On the other hand, informal business meetings can be ad hoc and one-on-one meetings. With the rise of remote working conditions, business meetings are conducted through video conference as much as it is in the office space.

Example of “business meeting” in a sentence:

Please check your email for the agenda of our upcoming business meeting and prepare your presentation beforehand.

19. Sales figures

A sales figure is a business term used in accounting, finance, and commerce. It means the total amount of money earned during a specified period (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually).

Example of “sales figures” in a sentence:

If our sales figures increase by 80%, we can give a higher bonus. Our branches should sell at least 500 units of our product to achieve that.

20. Business Presentation

A business presentation is an organized summary of salient information about a company’s plans, products, or services, designed for either internal (e.g., board members) or external (e.g., investors) audiences.

Example of “business presentation” in a sentence:

The business presentation of the tech company is so compelling that it convinced major investors to fund their product.

21. Feedback

Feedback, when used as a noun, means the response given to your business practices that come from your clients, customers, employees, or leadership team. When used as a verb, it means to relay a message or information.

Examples of “feedback” in a sentence:

Noun: Our marketing efforts paid off! We received positive feedback from our customers.

Verb: Can you ask Lilly to feedback to me on the details of the meeting? I can’t attend due to my prior commitments.

22. Inventory

Inventory is one of the common business terms meaning an itemized list of the quantity stock of goods available for sale. In most cases, inventory refers to the physical items in storage or warehouses.

Example of “inventory” in a sentence:

Our business partner requested the inventory of the products that are still in the warehouse.

23. Balance Sheet

The term balance sheet is used in the finance and accounting industries. It refers to a periodic financial report showing a company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity.

Example of “balance sheet” in a sentence:

The auditor flagged the irregularities found in the balance sheet for investigation.

24. ASAP – As Soon As Possible

ASAP (As Soon As Possible) is a business expression indicating urgency. The expression ASAP is often used in emails to indicate that something needs to be done immediately.

Example of ASAP – As Soon As Possible in a sentence:

The CEO needs the report ASAP before his business trip, please prioritize it.

25. Business Report

A business report is an organized collection of data and analyses compiled by a team of experts. It is used by companies to easily access information in making relevant decisions.

Example of “business report” in a sentence:

The quarterly business report reflected the result of converting potential customers into paying customers.

26. Resume

A resume is a summary of a person’s professional experience that they submit for employment opportunities. Educational background, employment history, certifications, and other job qualifications are included in a resume.

Example of “resume” in a sentence:

I wrote a tailor-fitted resume for the job posts for the sales manager position.

27. Networking

Networking is making connections with professionals who share a common occupation or interest. Individuals network to have a larger scale of contacts for future collaborations. Networking can happen on the internet (e.g., email, LinkedIn) or through face-to-face interactions like business conferences and workshops.

Example of “networking” in a sentence:

Attending the conference was fruitful for me because I did some networking and found researchers in my field of specialization.

28. Infographic

An infographic is an image that conveys data visually. Infographics can be used for marketing purposes, but they are most often used to educate people about a topic. They are created using visual elements like texts, graphs, and charts.

Example of “infographic” in a sentence:

The graphic artists will create an infographic to explain how email marketing works.

29. Touch base

In business English vocabulary, to touch base means to contact or check in with someone via phone or email for updates. Touching base happens when there is no time for a personal meeting.

Example of “touch base” in a sentence:

Let’s touch base regarding the promotion of the sales manager after your vacation leave.

30. Corporation

A corporation is an organization that has been legally formed to conduct a particular type of business. Microsoft, Google, and Apple are examples of a corporation.

Example of “corporation” in a sentence:

The corporation prepared a two-day seminar for its employees regarding conflict management skills.

31. Slide Deck

A slide deck (or deck) is a business English word that means a visual aid for a presentation. A slide deck is a combination of graphs, images, and texts. PowerPoint is an example of software where you can create a slide deck.

Example of “slide deck” in a sentence:

I made a slide deck to present the company’s new product line to the board members.

32. Franchise

A franchise is a method of distribution where one company sets up a brand name and then allows others to operate under it. McDonald’s, Subway, and Starbucks are examples of franchises.

Example of “franchise” in a sentence:

I’m planning to open a McDonald’s franchise in our area since we don’t have any yet.

33. Credit card debt

In personal finance and corporate language, credit card debt refers to any unpaid balance on a credit card incurred by purchasing goods or services.

Example of “credit card debt” in a sentence:

I should pay my credit card debt before this month ends to avoid penalties.

34. Reimbursement

Reimbursement is a financial term that means a payback for a business expense an employee paid out of their pocket. For example, if you paid for your hotel accommodation for an official event, you can submit your receipt for reimbursement.

Example of “reimbursement” in a sentence:

I submitted the receipts for the materials I spent on creating the project to the accounting department for reimbursement.

35. Probation

Probation is a term used in hiring or the human resource industry. It refers to a period a new employee will render to prove their suitability for a job. During probation, the new employee is trained and works under supervision to gauge if they are fit to be hired permanently.

Example of “probation” in a sentence:

I was hired as a sales manager for a beauty brand, and I’m on probation for two months. Hopefully, I will be promoted to a permanent employee.

36. Online Marketing

Online marketing is the practice of using electronic means to promote your business. It includes social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and content creation.

Example of “online marketing” in a sentence:

The online marketing on our company websites is proven effective in increasing sales this month.

37. Memorandum

A memorandum or memo is a form of business writing to communicate information or directive. Memorandum is a brief document that contains important facts and figures about something.

Example of “memorandum” in a sentence:

This is a memorandum from the CEO explaining his decision to close down the factory.

38. PR – Public Relations

Public Relations (PR) is a department in a company responsible for maintaining the reputation and image of the enterprise by increasing awareness and attracting customers.

Example of PR – Public Relations in a sentence:

The PR team arranged a press conference for the introduction of the new CEO of the company.

39. Business Model

A business model is a company’s strategy for generating profits by creating products or services it can sell. It includes the vision, objective, target customers, solutions, and pricing of a business.

Example of “business model” in a sentence:

Our business model fits the product we sell —this is proven by the increase in sales and the number of customers we have.

40. Employer

An employer is an individual or an organization that hires and pays people to work for them. Employers hire people because they need the skills, expertise, and services of those workers to operate their businesses.

Example of “employer” in a sentence:

I was sent to Japan by my employer to work on our branch there and improve our sales.

41. Leverage

Leverage means the ability to exert influence over others. For example, if you know a group of people who will buy your product, then you have the leverage to make a sale.

Example of “employer” in a sentence:

We know we have there’s competition, but we have the most successful marketing strategy as leverage to win this client.

42. Remote work

Remote work is a situation where employees perform their jobs independently outside their company’s physical office. The work usually happens in the employee’s home, where they communicate via email, video conference, or a virtual workspace.

Example of “remote work” in a sentence:

I requested a remote work condition because of the rising price of fuel.

43. Agile

Agile is the characteristic of a company that can quickly adapt to the fast-paced environment of the business. An agile company can respond swiftly to its customers and clients and adjusts easily to changes in time and trends.

Example of “agile” in a sentence:

Big corporations were agile enough to transition into remote work during the pandemic.

44. Company Handbook

A company handbook is a document given to employees as part of their acceptance into the workforce. It details the company regulations and policies, organizational structure, and procedures.

Example of “company handbook” in a sentence:

We should update our company handbook to include policies regarding remote working conditions.

45. Upskilling

Upskilling is the process of training yourself to acquire knowledge and skills that will help you get better jobs, change careers, earn higher wages and improve your life.

Example of “upskill” in a sentence:

I need to upskill and learn social media management to break into the marketing industry.

46. Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is someone who creates new ideas, products, or services that generate profit and provide value for consumers. Start-up companies are founded by entrepreneurs.

Example of “entrepreneur” in a sentence:

The entrepreneur presented his business model to the potential investor.

47. Conference call

A conference call is an audio communication between two or more people in different locations using telephone lines or mobile phones. Some business meetings use conference calls.

Example of “conference call” in a sentence:

I have to join a conference call this afternoon for the meeting on expanding the company in Europe.

48. Document sharing

Document sharing, in the virtual work environment, refers to the distribution of documents among employees for collaboration. It is usually done by generating a link to share a live document or emailing a file.

Example of “document sharing” in a sentence:

My inputs are reflected in real-time by using document sharing. I can also see the comments and suggestions of my team members.

49. Email

An email is an electronic message sent between two people using the Internet. It is used to relay reports, give instructions and updates, and share data (e.g., contracts spreadsheets).

Example of “document sharing” in a sentence:

After I log in to work, I routinely check my email for updates and list down tasks assigned to me.

50. FYI – For Your Information

FYI stands for “For Your Information”. This term is used in spoken and written communication to inform or update someone about something they may not know.

Example of FYI – For Your Information in a sentence:

FYI, I already updated our inventory. Kindly check if the changes I made reflect in our shared file.

51. Business Brand

Branding is a critical part of any business. In fact, a business brand is defined as the holistic elements that make up a company’s identity. These elements include logo design, packaging, advertising campaigns, customer service, and corporate culture.

Example of “business brand” in a sentence:

The business brand of the beauty start-up company is eco-friendly, sustainable, and cruelty-free.

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Learning common business words is your stepping stone to having a professional English vocabulary. Communications in the business environment consist of technical terms, jargon, and idioms which can be a barrier for a beginner learner. However, with dedication, you can build a strong business English vocabulary. Reading this blog and knowing 51 words of common business English terms is a great first step to developing your vocabulary. Your challenge now is to use those words in your daily conversations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I improve my Business English vocabulary?

There are many ways to improve your business English vocabulary. But the first step is through reading and listening. Eventually, you can apply your vocabulary by speaking and writing.

Read resources about your profession like news articles, blogs, business magazines, and books. To avoid stress in reading, you can start by picking a material that would entertain you. List down words and try to unlock their meaning using context clues or refer to a dictionary.

Listen to English audiobooks, podcasts, and commentaries. Through listening, you can pick up the proper pronunciation of words and the accent of a native speaker.

After acquiring knowledge about Business English, you have to speak it. Speaking is one of the applications of your comprehension —it tests if you really understood the words and know how to use them in communicating with others.

Writing is a core skill of Business English. You can improve your vocabulary by using the words you learn in writing emails, resumes, business letters, and blogs.

How can I learn business vocabulary?

You can learn the business vocabulary by watching business documentaries and films, listening to podcasts, and reading blogs about the industry of your interest.

More than that, learning business vocabulary relies on your dedication and effort to study and practice speaking in a business environment.

What is a business vocabulary?

A business vocabulary is a collection of words and phrases that describes the processes, tasks, and events in the corporate setting.

The most common types of business vocabulary include:

• Financial Vocabulary: focuses on financial activities like budgeting, forecasting, reporting, and analysis.
• Marketing Vocabulary: terms related to marketing strategies, advertising, sales, branding, and product development.
• Accounting Vocabulary: words used in bookkeeping, cash flow management, inventory control, and purchasing.

What is the best way to learn English vocabulary?

Ultimately, the best way to learn business English vocabulary is to use the words through speaking or writing. The more frequently you use a term, the easier it will be to remember later on.

The best form of learning is learning by doing. Therefore, do: simulations of business situations like presenting and networking; converse with a native English speaker; participate in business activities, and write business communications and documents.

Why is English vocabulary difficult to learn?

Learning new words is always challenging for anyone learning a foreign language like English. The problem is that English has an extensive vocabulary. It is downright impossible and hard to memorize them all.

Aside from that, one word can have multiple meanings depending on the context in which it is used. Word conjugation like in verb tenses, adjectives, and adverbs also makes English vocabulary confusing.

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Valentina Gagliardi

Valentina Gagliardi

Valentina has always been a teacher at heart. After spending eight years teaching college-level English, she realised that her true passion was helping people learn and grow – especially when it came to learning English. She firmly believes that in order for language learning to be successful, it’s important to create a comfortable and welcoming environment where students feel safe to experiment and take risks. When she’s not writing for the Lillypad community, Valentina loves travelling, reading and going for long walks with her dog Freddy.

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