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DSST Introduction to Business Study Guide

Updated: Feb 14

DSST Introduction to Business Exam Outline

Are you preparing for the DSST Introduction to Business exam? Look no further!

Our comprehensive study guide offers a solid foundation, covering topics ranging from company structures like LLCs to contemporary business issues.

Whether you're new to business or have some background knowledge, this exam provides an excellent opportunity to showcase your understanding.

Use our study guide to assess your readiness and enhance your grasp of essential business concepts.

Good luck with your exam preparations!


Table of Contents


1. Foundations of Business

Business woman walking.
Foundations of Business - 20%

Forms of Business Ownership

There are four common types of business ownership structures in the United States: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation.

Each type of business structure has its advantages and disadvantages.


Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business owned by one person.

The owner is responsible for all of the business's debts and liabilities.

Sole proprietorships are the most common type of business in the United States.


  • Easy to form: A sole proprietorship is easy to set up and requires little paperwork.

  • Total control: The owner has complete control over all aspects of the business.

  • Fewer taxes: A sole proprietorship is taxed as a sole proprietor, not a separate business entity.


  • Unlimited liability: The owner is personally liable for all debts and liabilities of the business.

  • Raising capital for a sole proprietorship can be difficult because the owner is personally liable for all business debts.

  • Limited life: A sole proprietorship has a limited life span, as it will end when the owner dies or decides to sell the business.



A partnership is a business owned by two or more people.

The partners share liability for the debts and liabilities of the business.

Partnerships are less common than sole proprietorships, but they have some advantages.


  • Easy to form: Like a sole proprietorship, a partnership is easy to set up and requires little paperwork.

  • More capital: Partners can pool their resources to raise more capital than a sole proprietor.

  • Shared liability: Partners are only liable for the debts and liabilities of the business up to the amount they have invested in the business.


  • Unlimited liability: Partners are personally liable for all debts and liabilities of the business, just like the owner of a sole proprietorship.

  • Limited life: A partnership has a limited life span, as it will end when one of the partners dies or decides to sell their share of the business.


Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company is a business structure that combines the features of a sole proprietorship or partnership with the limited liability of a corporation.

LLCs are less common than sole proprietorships and partnerships but have advantages over both.


  • Limited liability: Members of an LLC are only liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC up to the amount they have invested in the business.

  • More flexibility: LLCs have more flexibility than corporations regarding how they can be structured and operated.

  • Pass-through taxation: LLCs are taxed as sole proprietorships or partnerships, which means that the members of the LLC can deduct losses from their taxes.


  • More expensive to set up: LLCs are more expensive than sole proprietorships and partnerships because they require filing and annual report fees.

  • Limited life: Like partnerships, LLCs have a limited life span, as they will end when one of the members dies or decides to sell their interest in the business.



A corporation is a separate business entity from its owners. Shareholders are not liable for the debts and liabilities of the corporation.

Corporations are the most complex and expensive type of business to set up.


  • Limited liability: Shareholders are only liable for the debts and liabilities of the corporation up to the amount they have invested in the business.

  • Easy to raise capital: Corporations can raise capital by selling shares of stock.

  • Perpetual life: Corporations have a perpetual life span, meaning they will not end if one of the shareholders dies or decides to sell their shares.


  • More expensive to set up: Corporations are more expensive than sole proprietorships and partnerships because they require filing and annual report fees.

  • Double taxation: Corporations are subject to double taxation, meaning that the corporation is taxed on its profits, and then the shareholders are taxed again on their dividends.

  • Complex structure: Corporations have a complex structure with a board of directors, officers, and shareholders. This can make them more challenging to manage than sole proprietorships and partnerships.

  • Increased regulation: Corporations are subject to more government regulation than other business structures.


Government and Business

The relationship between government and business can be divided into two broad categories: regulation and taxation.


Regulation is the process by which the government controls the activities of businesses.

The government does this to protect consumers, ensure fair competition, and promote public safety.

There are three main types of government regulations: environmental regulations, labor regulations, and product regulations.

  • Environmental regulations: Environmental regulations are laws that protect the environment from pollution and other environmental hazards.

  • Labor regulations: Labor regulations are laws that protect workers from exploitation and unsafe working conditions.

  • Product regulations: Product regulations are laws that ensure that products are safe for consumers and accurately labeled.



Taxation is the government's process of collecting taxes from businesses.

The government uses taxes to fund public goods and services like roads and schools.

There are two main types of taxes that businesses have to pay: income taxes and payroll taxes.

  • Income taxes: These are taxes on a business's profits.

  • Payroll taxes: Payroll taxes are taxes on employees' wages.


Economics of Business

The economic environment in which a business operates can significantly impact its success.

The three most essential factors in the economic environment are inflation, interest rates, and unemployment.



Inflation is the rate at which prices for goods and services rise.

A high inflation rate can erode a business's profits and make it difficult for consumers to afford its products.


Interest Rates

Interest rates are the percentage of a loan a business must pay in addition to the principal.

A high interest rate can make it difficult for a business to obtain a loan and can increase borrowing money costs.



Unemployment is the percentage of the workforce that is unemployed.

A high unemployment rate can reduce consumer spending and make it difficult for businesses to find workers.


International Business

International business is conducting business transactions between two or more countries.

These transactions include exporting and importing goods and services, investing capital in foreign businesses, and forming joint ventures between foreign companies.


DSST Introduction to Business Trivia Question # 98


2. Functions of Business

Business Workers discussing the Functions of Business.
Functions of Business - 60%


Management is the process of planning, organizing, directing, and controlling an organization's resources.

An organization's resources include people, money, materials, and information.

The four primary functions of management are:

  • Planning: Setting goals and determining the best way to achieve them.

  • Organizing: Assigning tasks and resources to individuals and groups.

  • Directing: Communicating and motivating employees to achieve the organization's goals.

  • Controlling: The process of monitoring progress and taking corrective action when necessary.



Marketing creates value for a company by creating and distributing products or services.

Marketing includes the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.

  • Product: A product is a good or service offered for sale.

  • Price: The price is the amount of money a customer must pay to purchase a product.

  • Place: The place is the location where a product is sold.

  • Promotion: Promotion is communicating with customers and persuading them to purchase a product.



Finance is the process of acquiring and managing money.

Businesses use finance to obtain the money they need to start or expand their operations.

Once a business has obtained the money it needs, it must manage its finances to ensure it is used wisely.

There are four primary areas of finance:

  • Corporate Finance: Corporate finance is managing a company's financial resources. This includes raising capital, investing capital, and managing risk.

  • Personal Finance: Personal finance is managing an individual's financial resources. This includes budgeting, saving, and investing.

  • Public Finance: Public finance is the process of managing government financial resources. This includes tax collection, spending, and borrowing.

  • International Finance: International finance is managing a country's financial resources. This includes trade, investment, and currency exchange.



Accounting is recording, classifying, and summarizing financial transactions to provide helpful information for business decisions.

Accounting includes the three primary financial statements: the balance sheet, the income statement, and the cash flow statement.

  • Balance Sheet: The balance sheet is a statement of a company's financial position at a specific time. It includes information on the company's assets, liabilities, and equity.

  • Income Statement: The income statement is a statement of a company's financial results for a specific period. It includes the company's revenue, expenses, and net income.

  • Cash Flow Statement: The cash flow statement is a statement of a company's cash inflows and outflows for a specific period. It includes information on the company's operating, investing, and financing activities.


Production and Operations

Production and operations are the processes of creating and delivering products or services.

This includes the planning, scheduling, and control of production activities.

Production and operations also include quality assurance, which ensures that products or services meet customer requirements.


Human Resources

Human resources is the process of managing a company's employees.

This includes recruiting, hiring, training, and managing employee benefits.

Human resources also include workforce planning, determining the number and type of employees a company needs to achieve its business goals.


Management Information Systems

Management information systems collect, store, and process data to provide helpful information in business decisions.

Management information systems include customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, and business intelligence.



Entrepreneurship is the process of starting and running a business.

This includes identifying a business opportunity, researching the market, developing a business plan, and raising capital.

Entrepreneurship also includes managing the day-to-day operations of a business, such as marketing, sales, and customer service.


DSST Introduction to Business Trivia Question # 124


3. Contemporary Issues

Business team disucssing contemporary issues.
Contemporary Issues - 20%

Role of Technology and E-commerce.

Technology and e-commerce are playing an increasingly important role in business.

Technology automates processes, improves communication, and provides valuable information in business decisions.

E-commerce is used to sell products and services online.


Business Ethics and Social Responsibility.

Businesses have a responsibility to operate ethically and be socially responsible.

Business ethics is the process of ensuring businesses operate according to moral and ethical principles.

Social responsibility is the process of making sure that businesses have a positive impact on society.


Global Business Environment.

The global business environment is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses.

The global business environment includes political, economic, social, and cultural factors that affect businesses.

Businesses must know these factors to operate effectively in the global market.


4. Conclusion

Students discussing DSST Business exam.

DSST Introduction to Business

In conclusion, the DSST Introduction to Business Exam encompasses various fundamental topics crucial for success.

To excel, diligent study and mastery of the material are essential.

Consider enrolling in our comprehensive online preparation course to enhance your understanding and boost your chances of success on the exam.

Wishing you the best of luck, and may your testing experience be fruitful and fulfilling!


5. Student Resources


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