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Definitions F – L

Leadership and Business Dictionary

Numbers  A  B  C  D  E F  G  H  I  J  K  L M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Factory Floor – The area of a factory where the goods are made. Also the collective name of the ordinary workers in a factory, rather than management.

Factory Price – The price charged for goods direct from the factory, not including transport costs, etc. Factory Price is often quoted by retailers or in advertisements to show that products are for sale at a very low price.

Fairy Dust – A term often used in the entertainment business. The final enhancement or touch on a project. The unknown factor which turns something great into something fantastic.

Fallen Angel – Term used in finance to describe bonds which once had a good investment value, but have now dropped in value to a much lower rating.

False Accounting – A criminal offense. Giving false information in, or destroying, a company’s accounts, usually for personal gain. Fraud.

False Bottom – On the stock market, selling prices which seem to have already hit their lowest level because of a subsequent price rise then fall through a false bottom because the price falls even lower.

Fast Track – Quick route in a career to success and promotion, associated with high ambition.

Fat Cat – A wealthy person living off investments or dividends, or a chief executive of a large company or organization who is on a very large salary, huge pension, etc.

Fault Tolerance – Enables a system, especially in computing, to continue to operate properly even though a component in the system has failed.

Feasibility Study – A preliminary assessment of a new project, including costs, risks, etc., to determine whether the project will be successful and practical.

Feather-Bedding – A term often used in industry describing the practice of hiring more workers than is necessary to carry out a job, often because of a contract with a union.

Federation – An organization which has been formed by the joining together of a group of companies, clubs, etc.

Fidelity Bond – Also known as Fidelity Insurance. Protects an employer against any losses incurred because of dishonesty, or damage caused, by an employee.

Fiduciary – Describes an organization or individual who manages money or property for a beneficiary.

Filibuster – A person who attempts to delay or obstruct legislation by giving long speeches, but does not contravene rules concerning proceedings.

Finance – To provide or obtain funds for a business, commercial project, an individual, etc. The management of money. To sell or provide goods on credit.

Financial Engineering – The practice of solving financial problems or creating financial opportunities in a company, by changing the way money is borrowed, debts paid, etc.

Financial Equity – The ownership of interest in a company, usually in the form of shares.

Firepower – The amount of power, money and/or influence that is available to a business or organization.

Firewall – A system in a computer which prevents unwanted or unauthorized access, but allows the authorized user to receive information.

Firmware – Describes the fixed programs, which cannot be lost or changed, in electronic devices such as digital cameras, calculators, remote controls, etc.

First Mover – A business that gains an advantage by being the first to establish itself in a specific market by producing a new product or offering a new service, or by being the first to use new technology.

First Order Of Business – The most important task to be dealt with.

Fiscal Drag – A situation in which wages rise because of inflation but income tax thresholds are not increased, which can push people into higher tax brackets and therefore makes them pay an increased proportion of their wages in tax.

Fiscal Policy – A government policy to regulate a nation’s annual economic activity by setting tax levels and determining government expenditure.

Five Nines – Refers to the 99.999% of the time that some companies claim their computer systems work properly.

Fixed Assets – Assets, such as property, equipment, furniture, vehicles, etc., which are owned by a company and which are needed to operate the business.

Fixed Costs – Costs, or overheads , which are incurred by a business whether or not it is operating or generating income, such as wages, rent, insurance, utilities (i.e. electricity, gas. water), etc.

Fixed Parity – In foreign exchange, when the currency of one country is equal in value to the currency of another country.

Fixed Term Contract – Also known as Temporary Contract. A contract of employment which ends on a specific date, or on completion of a task or project. Fixed term employees have the rights to the same pay, conditions and benefits as full-time employees.

Fixer – A person who makes arrangements for someone else, usually for a fee, by using their influence and often underhand, illegal methods.

Flame – To send a rude or unacceptable message by e-mail, or to post a message on an Internet forum which is offensive or spiteful.

Flash Drive –  A small portable device which connects to a USB port on a computer and is used to store data which can then be transferred to another computer.

Flexecutive – A manager who works flexible hours, often from home using the Internet. A multi-skilled executive who can change tasks or jobs with ease.

Flextime– A work system in which employees work a set number of hours each week or month, but they decide when they are going to start and finish each day, usually between a range of given working hours.

Flight Capital – The movement of large sums of money from one of investment to another, or from one country to another, to avoid high taxes or financial instability due to political unrest.
Flighting – A cost effective method of advertising. A commercial is scheduled to appear on TV, usually when viewing figures are high (flight). There are periods in between the flights when the commercial does not appear on TV (hiatus). During the TV hiatus the product being advertised will often appear in newspapers or magazines, so the public is continually aware of it.

Float – A term used to indicate the false availability of funds to two or more companies or accounts due to the deposit of checks written on far away banks. Change in banking laws now allow banks the right to block the credit of funds until a check clears the original bank. This practice was used both by financial types to earn daily interest and crooks who used the time to withdraw all or most of the deposited funds.

Floor Limit – In retailing, the highest amount of money for a sale for which a debit or credit card can be used by a customer without authorization from the customer’s bank.

Floor Trader – Also known as a Local. An investor who is allowed on the trading floor of a stock exchange, to buy and sell shares, etc., for their own account.

Flotation – The process of financing a company by selling shares on the stock exchange for the first time.

Flyback – a.k.a. Callback. A series of screening interviews for a job during which a person, usually a student, is interviewed several times, often on the same same day, by the prospective employer.

Focus List – A list of companies, recommended by an investment firm, whose shares are worth buying or selling.

Footer – In a report or document, a line or block of text that appears at the bottom of every page which is printed from a computer.

Force Field Analysis – A technique developed by Kurt Lewin to support positive factors and decrease negative factors, as the result of a change in an organization.

Force Majeure – A clause in a contract which exempts the contracting party (e.g. insurer) from liability in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe, such as war, act of God, etc.

Fortune 500 – Published by Fortune magazine, an annual list of the 500 US corporations with the largest revenue.

Forward Integration – A business strategy whereby a company takes control of its distributors, therefore guaranteeing the distribution of the controlling company’s products.

Four-Color Process – In printing, the use of four ink colors – yellow, magenta, cyan and black – which are combined together to produce the whole spectrum of colors.

Fractional Ownership – An arrangement where a number of people or companies each buy a percentage of an expensive asset, such as a property. The individual owners then share the asset, and when it is sold the profits are distributed back to the owners.

Franchise – An authorization or license – effectively a business, which can be bought – enabling someone (franchisee) to use the franchiser’s company name and trademarks to sell their products services, etc., and usually to receive certain support, in a particular area of a country. A franchise for a whole country is typically called a master franchise.

Free Collective Bargaining – A situation in which workers and union members meet with employers to discuss working conditions, pay, etc., in talks that are not limited by law or government.

Freeconomics – A situation in which companies provide certain goods and services for free, and those businesses who don’t follow suit are likely to fail.

Freedom Of Association – The right of individuals to join together to form, or join an existing, group or organization, including a union.

Free Enterprise – An economic system in which private businesses have the freedom to compete with each other for profit, with minimal interference from the government.

Free Market – A market in which prices of goods and services are affected by supply and demand, rather than government regulation.

Free On Board – Maritime trade term. The supplier delivers the goods to a ship at a specified port. The supplier then pays the shipping costs after obtaining official clearance. Once they have been put on board, the buyer is then responsible for the goods.

Free Port – A port where goods can be brought and stored temporarily, without custom duties having to be paid, before being shipped to another country.

Free Rider – A person or organization that enjoys benefits and services provided by others, and doesn’t pay their fair share of the costs.

Freeware – Computer software that is copyrighted by the author and offered, usually on the Internet, free of charge.

Free Zone – An area in a country where importers can store foreign goods, prior to further transportation, without having to pay customs duties or taxes on them.

Frictional Unemployment – Unemployment of people who are temporarily between jobs, changing careers, changing location, etc.

Fringe Benefit – A benefit given to employees in addition to their salary, such as a company car, pension scheme, paid holidays, etc.

Front-End Load – A fee charged for an investment, i.e. an insurance policy, limited partnership, mutual fund, etc. The fee is made with the initial payment, and subsequent payments are therefore lower.

Fulfillment House – A company which is paid for its services by another company, i.e. for dealing with mail, processing orders, etc.

Full-Time Contract – FT. A permanent or ongoing contract of employment in which the employee works at least the standard number of hours in a working week, usually 35.

Fungible – Describes goods or commodities which can be exchanged for something of the same kind, of equal value and quality.


Gag Order – A legal order issued by a court to prevent the public reporting of a court case.

Gagging Clause – A clause in an employment contract which prevents an employee from disclosing certain information about the company to the press, union officers, etc.

Gainsharing – Also called profit sharing. An incentive system which enables employees to have a share in a company’s profits.

Gantt Chart – Developed by Henry Gantt in 1917. A type of bar chart which illustrates the scheduled and completed work of a project. It shows start and finish dates, compares work planned to work done and tracks specific tasks.

Gap Analysis – Enables a company to assess the gap between its actual performance and its potential performance, by comparing what skills, products, etc. are available to what is required to improve performance, output, etc.

Garden Leave -a.k.a. Gardening Leave. Term used when an employee’s contract has been terminated but they are instructed by the company to stay away from work, on full pay, during their notice period. Often to prevent them from working for competitors during that time.

Garnish – To take part of someone’s wages, by law, to pay their debts, e.g. child support, alimony.

Gatekeeper – A person in an organization who controls access to the people in the organization, and/or controls access to information or goods.

Gazelle – A US term for a fast growing company that creates a lot of job opportunities, and which has grown by at least 20% in the last four years.

Geek Speak – Technical language often used by computer experts which doesn’t make sense to non-technical people.

General Creditor – A person or company that lends unsecured money, so that the creditor is unlikely to recover much of the loan if the debtor goes bankrupt or does not pay it back.

Generalist – A person who has a broad general knowledge at a high level, and/or many skills.

General Strike – Widespread withdrawal of labor by a nation’s workforce, which aims at bringing the country to a standstill because of a disagreement over pay and/or working conditions. –

Generation X – A term used for people born during the 1960s and 1970s, who are often described as disaffected and irresponsible.

Gerontocracy – A government or political system which is ruled by old men (elders).

Get All Your Ducks In A Row – A term for getting organized, having everything in order and making sure all the small details are accounted for before embarking on a new project.

Get Go – From the start, the earliest stage of something. Used in the phrase ‘From the get go.’

Gift Tax – A tax payable on gifts over a certain annual value made during the lifetime of the giver.

Giro – A system, used in some countries, of transferring money from one bank or post office account into another using a central computer.

Giveback – An agreement in which employees accept a wage reduction or fewer benefits as a gesture of goodwill, usually because of an economic downturn. The employees are often offered wage rises and new benefits at a later date.

Glamor Stock – A company’s shares, which are very popular with investors, because they have performed well on the stock exchange.

Glass Ceiling – An invisible barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from advancing to positions of leadership in a company, although some do manage to ‘break through’ the glass ceiling.

Glass Wall – An imaginary barrier in the workplace which prevents women and minority groups from being employed in other sectors of business or industry.

Globalization – The process of integrating nations, economically and socially, through free trade, international business activities, technology (i.e. the Internet), etc.

Global Village – A term used to describe the whole world as a single community, connected by electronic communication systems, such as the Internet.

Globalization – Global Localization. A term used when an international company adapts its manufacturing methods, products or services to suit local conditions.

Gofer – From ‘Go for’. An employee who runs errands, as well as doing their normal job, usually in an office or on a film set. A dogsbody.

Golden Handcuffs – Financial incentives or benefits given to a valued employee to ensure that they continue working for a company, and to discourage them from wanting to leave to work for another company.

Golden Handshake – Usually offered to high-ranking executives in a large company. A clause in their contract which provides them with a large sum of money and/or other benefits in the event of them losing their job or retiring.

Golden Parachute – A company’s agreement with an employee, usually a top executive, which promises a significant amount of money and/or benefits if the employee is forced to leave their job, usually because of a change of company ownership, outside of the control of the original employer company.

Gold Reserve – The amount of gold bullion or gold coins held by a country’s central bank to support its currency and provide security for its international debts.

Gone To The Wall – Describes a business which has failed.

Grace – A period of time given to a debtor to enable them to pay an overdue bill or loan, or extra time given in a contract for a piece of work to be finished.

Grandfather Clause – A provision in a new law which allows the person or business already engaged in the activity. which may have been made illegal, to continue to do so.

Graphology – The study of handwriting, often used as a way of analyzing a person’s character.

Grass Roots – The ordinary people in a business or organization, rather than the management or the decision-makers.

Gratis – To do or give something without payment. Free of charge.

Graveyard Market – A term used on the Stock Exchange to describe a Bear Market in which share owners are reluctant to sell because they face substantial losses, and buyers are reluctant to buy because the financial outlook is poor. Those who are in it can’t get out, and those who are on the outside have no desire to get in.

Gravy Train – A business activity which makes a large profit for an individual or an organization without much effort. To have it easy.

Green Audit – Also called Environmental Audit. An official assessment which shows the effect that an organization or a company has on the environment.

Greenback – An informal term for US paper money, i.e. the dollar, derived from the color of the money.

Green Card – In the US, a legal document which allows an immigrant to become a permanent resident, to work legally and to become eligible for citizenship.

Grey Knight – A third person, or company, who makes an unsolicited bid in a corporate takeover, and who takes advantage of any problems which arise between the first bidder (White Knight) and the company being acquired.

Gross Profit Margin – Expressed as a percentage, what is left from a company’s sales after cost of goods sold is paid out. Gross profit margin is obtained by dividing gross income by net sales.

Guru – An influential teacher or an expert in a particular subject who shares their knowledge, often by writing books.


Haggle – Negotiate with someone over the price of something until an agreeably mutual price is reached.

Hall Test – A term used when a group of people are gathered together at a particular location and asked to take part in market research.

Handbill – A small printed advertisement, usually on one sheet, often given out to people by hand.

Hands-Free – Term used when a telephone can be used without having to be held in the hand.

Hands-Off – A term often applied to managers who do not directly participate when dealing with a situation in the workplace by letting the people involved decide what they want to do.

Hard Selling – An aggressive type of selling which puts a lot of pressure on a prospective customer to buy a product or a service.

Harvesting – A term used when a product is still being sold, although it is no longer being invested in, prior to being withdrawn from the market.

Headhunt – To find a person who is specialized in a particular job, usually for a senior position in a company, and then persuade them to leave their present employment.

Health And Safety – Concerned with the protection of employees from risks and dangers in the workplace.

Heat-seeker – A person who, without fail, always buys the most up to date version of an existing product as soon as it comes onto the market.

Hedge Fund – A type of investment fund, which is unregulated and usually very high risk, used by individuals and organizations (not the general public) with large amounts of money to invest.

High Net Worth – Term which describes a rich individual or family who have investable assets of $1 million or more, but this can vary. A person with more than $50 million is classed as Ultra High Net Worth.

Hire Purchase – HP. A contract between a buyer and seller in which the buyer takes possession of an item and then pays for it in regular installments, usually monthly, and does not become the owner of the item until the final payment has been made. Also referred to as ‘Buying on the never-never’.

Holding Company – A company which is formed for owning and holding controlling shares in other companies.

Hole In The Wall – An informal term for a cash dispensing machine.

Horizontal Integration – The joining together of businesses which produce similar goods or offer similar services, or are involved in the same stage of activities, such as production or selling.

Hot Desking – In an office, the practice of having a pool of desks, which are usually equipped with phone and computer links, so that workers can use them when they are required, rather than having their own individual desk.

Human Resources – HR. The people who are employed by and operate a business or organization. The department within a company which deals with recruitment, training, employee benefit, etc.

Hush Money – A bribe or payment, which is often illegal, given to someone to stop them from disclosing information, usually to prevent bad publicity or to hide a crime.


Identity Theft – A crime in which someone obtains another person’s personal information, such as passport, credit card details, etc., and poses as that person in order to steal money, get benefits, make purchases, etc.

Idle Time – The time that a piece of equipment or a machine, such a as computer, is available, but is not being used.

Impeach – To charge somebody, usually a government official, with serious misconduct. To cast somebody out of public office, i.e. a president or courtroom judge because of a serious crime or misdemeanor.

Imperfect Market – A market in which buyers do not have access to enough information about prices and products, and where buyers or sellers can have an influence over the quantity and price of goods sold.

Import Duty – A tax charged on certain goods which are brought into a country.

Incentive Marketing – The offering of rewards or gifts to sales people as an incentive to get more orders from dealers or customers. To offer customers rewards for buying products or services.

Income Fund – An investment fund with high returns which pays the owners a regular income.

Income Tax – A tax paid by individuals to the government, the amount of which is dependent on how much a person earns from their salary and/or other sources of income.

Incubator – An organization or company which provides support to new businesses to help them develop and grow.

Indemnify – To insure and offer financial protection against loss, damage or liability.

Independent Financial Advisor – IFA.  Someone who works independently, i.e. not for a particular company, and offers people advice about financial matters and recommends where to invest their money.

Index-Linked – Concerning salaries, pensions, investments, etc. If they are Index-Linked it means that the payments or income from these may vary according to the rate of inflation.

Indict – To formally charge someone with a crime.

Indirect Materials – In accounting, products or services, such as electricity, cleaning materials, chemicals, etc., which are used in the production of goods but are not part of the end product.

Induction – The introduction and training of a member of staff in a new job or position in a company.

Industrialist – A person who owns or runs a large industrial enterprise. They are often referred to as a Business Magnate.

Industrial Relations – Relations between the management and the workers, especially those in unions, in industry.

Industrial Tribunal – An independent judicial body which deals with disputes between employers and employees.

Inflation – Concerning the economy of a country. The gradual increase in the price of goods and/or services, which devalues the country’s currency.

Inflection Point – In business, when important significant changes take place in an organization. (Andrew S. Grove – Intel)

Infomediary – An agent who works on behalf of a business, collecting information on, and developing profiles of, individual customers.

Infomercial – Information Commercial. A long television commercial presented in the form of a documentary or TV program. This format is used so that it does not appear to be selling a product or service.

Information Superhighway – Communications network, i.e. the Internet, which provides high speed access to information in the form of sound, text, images, etc.

Inheritance Tax – a.k.a. Death Tax. A tax imposed by the government which much be paid on the total value of the estate of a deceased person.

Injunction – An official court order which demands that someone must refrain from carrying out certain actions.

Innovation – The introduction of new ideas, goods, etc., or new methods of production. A new way of doing something.

Inorganic – A term used to describe the growth of a business from mergers or takeovers, rather than from the increase in productivity or activity of the company’s own business.

Inside Information – Information about a company which is known only by the owners, management and/or employees, and not the general public. The use of Inside Information for the buying and selling of shares is usually illegal.

Inside Track – An advantageous position in a company or organisation. To know about something before others get to hear about it.

Insolvency – Not having enough finances or assets available to pay all your debts.

Instant Access Account – A bank or building society account which allows you have instant access to your money without any penalties.

Insurance Adjuster – a.k.a. Claims Adjuster. An independent person who investigates insurance claims for an insurance company and evaluates the damage caused and decides whether the claims are valid, and if they are, how much should be paid in settlement to the insured party.

Intangible Asset – A company’s assets which do not physically exist, such as brand name, trademarks, copyrights, etc.

Intellectual Capital – The skills and knowledge of a company’s employees, which can be used to make the company more successful than its competitors.

Intellectual Property – An idea or creation, i.e. artwork, writing, etc., that belongs to an individual or organization, which has commercial value and therefore cannot be copied or sold without the owner’s permission.

Interest Rate – A fee which is charged for borrowing money, e.g., a loan from a bank or financial institution, lease arrangement, goods bought through hire purchase, etc.

Intermediary – A mediator or agent who negotiates between two parties who are unable or unwilling to reach an agreement by themselves.

Internal Equity – In a company or organization, ensures the pay each employee receives is determined fairly by the type of job they do.

International Monetary Fund – IMF. Established in 1944 by the United Nations to monitor foreign exchange systems and encourage trade between member nations. It also lends money to developing countries with economic problems.

International Organization For Standardization – ISO. A non-government organization with over 150 member nations, which promotes international standards in trade, technology, science, economy, etc.

Internesia – Relating to the Internet. Being unable to locate a particular website which you found interesting or on which you saw a useful piece of information.

Internet Cafe – a.k.a. Cybercafe. A public place where people can use a computer, usually for a fee, to check e-mail, access the Internet, etc. These places often sell drink and food, like a regular cafe.

Interventionism – The policy of a government to intervene and manipulate a country’s (often its own) affairs and/or economy.

Intervention Price – A guaranteed minimum price set by a government for a product, usually farm produce. If the price falls below this then the government, or agency, will buy the produce at the Intervention Price.

Intrapreneur – A person employed by a large company to work independently to develop new projects and business within the company.

Intrinsic Value – The actual or real value of a business, commodity, asset, etc., rather than the market value or share price.

Invention – A new device, process, product, etc., which has been created and developed by an individual or a group.

Investment – Money or capital that is invested in a business or in an account with a financial institution in order to make a profit or earn interest.

Investment Boutique – A small company which offers specialist advice about investments and business.

Invisible – ‘Invisible’ services of a country, such as banking, tourism, insurance, etc, of which the buying and selling are from international trade.

Involuntary Liquidation – When a company is forced into bankruptcy by its creditors, so that its debts can be paid.

Island Position – An advertisement or commercial which is surrounded by text, or placed between TV programs, with no other advertisements, so it has no competition.

Issue Price – On the Stock Exchange, the price at which a new share, stock, etc., is offered to the public.
Information Technology – Also known as IT. The study and use of computers and communications systems.


Jasdaq – Japanese Association of Securities Dealers Automated System. Japanese securities exchange, the headquarters of which are situated in Tokyo.

Job Action –  A protest by employees during which they refuse to work, usually because they want better wages and/or better working conditions.

Job Costing – A system of calculating the cost of each individual job or project carried out by a business, includes time, labor, materials, etc.

Job Lock – A situation in which a person feels they cannot leave their job because they are afraid of losing benefits connected to the job.

Job Protected Leave – Allows people to officially take time off from their work for a longer period without the fear of losing their job, often because of illness or pregnancy.

Job Sharing – A work schedule in which two or more people voluntary do one full-time job, sharing the work and dividing the hours between them.

Joint Stock Company – A company or organization owned by joint shareholders, which is a type of corporation and partnership. The stockholders run the company and share its profits and debts.

Junk Bond -a.k.a.s High Yield Bonds. A high risk bond with a high interest rate, often used by companies to raise finances in order to take over other companies.

Just-In-Time – JIT. A manufacturing system in which materials and components are delivered immediately before they are required, in order to increase efficiency, reduce waste and minimize storage costs.


Kaizen – Japanese for ‘improvement’. When implemented in the workplace, Kaizen activities help to improve the running of a business.

Kanban – Japanese for ‘visible record’. In industry, a manufacturing system which is regulated by the use of cards or boards which contain specifications and instructions for the production process of goods.

Keiretsu – In Japan, an alliance of companies or organizations which own shares in one another as a means of security, but each individual company operates independently.

Kerb Market – In the US, the buying and selling of shares in companies which are not listed on the stock exchange. In the UK, the buying and selling of stocks and shares outside official trading hours.

Kettling – Term which is used to describe the police tactic of penning protesters into an area by forming a barrier around them and refusing to let them out.

Key Account – In business, a company’s main client or customer, who represents a large percentage of the company’s income.

Keyword Advertising – Used on the Internet. When a user types in a particular ‘keyword’, an advertisement which is linked to a business relevant to that word, is displayed alongside the search engine results.

Kickback – A bribe or illegal payment made to someone in exchange for a successful referral for a job or transaction.

Kidult – An adult who enjoys films, games, TV, clothes, etc., which are deemed more suitable for children or much younger people.

Killer App – Short for Killer Application. Derives from the computer industry. A new product or service which is the first in its category and therefore dominates that particular market, creating huge returns on the initial investment.

Knocking Copy – In advertising, the criticism or attacking of a competitor or a rival product.

Knock-Off – An unauthorized copy of a product, usually designer clothing.

Knowledge Base – In a computer system, a database with a store of information, facts and rules which can be used for problem-solving.

Knowledge Worker – a.k.a. Intellectual Worker. A person who is employed by a company to use their brain and intellect to work with information, rather than performing manual tasks.


Labor – Work, especially manual/physical work, for wages.

Labor Intensive – A job requiring a lot of work, and often a lot of workers, in comparison to the costs of materials, equipment, etc.

Lading – Freight or cargo carried by a large vehicle. The act of loading cargo onto a ship.

Laid-Off – In industry, etc., when workers lose their jobs, sometimes temporarily, because there is no work for them.

Landing Page – On the Internet, the first page that visitors to a website arrive at after they’ve clicked on a link to the site.

Larceny – The crime of unlawfully taking someone else’s property or money. Theft.

Large Cap – On the Stock Exchange, a company that has a large market capitalization, i.e. a high total value of shares.

Law Of One Price – The rule that without trade barriers and transportation costs, identical products would cost the same worldwide using the appropriate exchange rate of currency.

Layaway – A means of purchasing an item by paying a small deposit to reserve it and then paying the balance in installments. When the total purchase price has been paid the customer can then take delivery of the goods.

Leading Indicator – A particular measure of a country’s economic activity, used to predict near future economic trends.

Lead User – Term introduced by economist Eric von Hippel in 1986. Lead users are individuals or companies who greatly benefit from being the first to use or adapt a product for a particular need, often months or years before the general public or other businesses are aware of the need for the product.

Lean – Also known as the Toyota Production System or Just-In-Time Production. A system used in management, production, manufacturing, etc., to decrease waste and increase efficiency, especially with the use of automated assembly lines in the motor industry.

Learning Curve – A graph depicting the rate at which a person learns a new skill. A steep learning curve shows that a person is learning quickly, and a shallow learning curve means that a person is slower and taking more time to learn.

Leaseback – An arrangement between a purchaser of a property and the vendor in which the vendor immediately leases the property back from the purchaser.

Leave Of Absence – The period of time which a person is permitted by their employer to be absent from their job.

Lease Purchase – A finance agreement in which an item, usually a car, is leased for a certain period of time with an option to purchase at the end of the contract.

Legal Aid – Legal assistance provided , usually by the state, for people or organizations who cannot afford to pay for solicitors or legal advice.

Legal Entity – An individual or organization who has the legal right to enter into a contract or an agreement, is responsible for its actions, and can sue or be sued if the terms of the contract are broken.

Legal Reserve – The minimum amount of money, required by law, that a bank, insurance company, etc., must set aside in order to be able to operate.

Lemon – A defective product which is poor quality and fails to function as promised.

Lender Of Last Resort – A country’s central bank which loans money to other banks or financial institutions which cannot borrow money from anywhere else and do not have enough reserves to cover cash withdrawals by their customers.

Letter Of Comfort – A letter of approval written to a bank by a parent company on behalf of a subsidiary company which needs financial backing.

Letter of Credit – A credit availability letter issued by a bank to guarantee payment of funds to a third party. A form of insurance for payment used by organizations around the globe.

Letter Of Indemnity – A document in which an individual, company, etc., guarantees to protect another from costs, liability, etc., as a result of certain actions which may be carried out.

Liabilities – Debts which are owed to someone, obligations or responsibilities which are legally binding.

Lien – A legal right to take and keep another persons property until a debt has been paid by the property owner.

Lieu – In lieu of means instead of, or in place of. ‘Time off in lieu’ means time given off work instead of payment for extra hours worked.

Lifeboat – An emergency loan offered to a company or bank which is in financial trouble.

Life Tables – a.k.a. Mortality Tables. Tables which show peoples life expectancy, depending on their age, lifestyle, etc., often used by insurance companies.

Lightning Strike – A sudden strike by workers, with little or no warning. These strikes are often short in duration and usually without official union backing.

Limited Liability – In law, the owners and/or shareholders of a limited company only lose the amount they have invested if the company gets into debt.

Linchpin – The most important person or thing in a business or organization.

Line Authority – In business, the power given to management allowing them to give orders and to control subordinates.

Liquidate – The closing down of a business by selling its assets to pay its debts.

Liquidated Damages – The fixed amount agreed upon by parties to a contract, to be paid to one party in the case of a breach of contract by the other party.

List Price – Known as ‘Sticker Price’ in the US. The advertised or recommended retail price (RRP) of a product.

List Rental – The renting, from an organization, of a mailing list which has potential customer names and addresses, for a one-off mailing

Litigate – To legally settle a dispute in, or take a claim to , a court of law.

Litigious – To be too keen on taking legal action to settle disputes.

Living Trust – A trust created in which assets can be transferred to someone while the grantor (the person who owns the assets) is still alive. Living Trusts avoid dealing with the legalities of a will.

Loan Shark – Someone who offers unsecured loans at excessive rates of interest.

Local Content Measure – Where a business or investor is required to purchase a certain amount of locally sourced materials to be used in the manufacturing, etc., of their product.

Lockout – A term used during an industrial dispute, when management closes down a workplace and bars employees from entering until they agree to certain terms and conditions.

Long Grass – To ‘Kick something into the long grass’ means to push a problem aside in the hope that it will be ignored or forgotten.

Long Position – A situation in which an investor or dealer holds onto shares, etc., which they have purchased, expecting them to rise in value in the future.

Long Term Liability – Taxes, leases, loans, etc., which are payable over a period greater than one year.

Loophole – An unintentional mistake in a contract or a law which allows people to evade an obligation in the contract, or to get round the law without actually breaking it.

Looping – In films, TV programs, etc., the process of dubbing the original film footage by synching (lining it up) with new or replacement dialogue.

Loss Leader – In retail, a product which is offered at a very low price to attract customers who will then buy other goods which will produce more profit for the retailer.

Low Hanging Fruit – A term used in business for something which is easily obtainable and highly visible, and provides a quick easy way to making a profit.

Low Yield – A term used to describe investments which are low risk and do not produce a high level of income.

Loyalty Card – A card given to customers by a retailer which gives the customer points, etc., every time they shop there. These points convert into vouchers which the customer can spend at the store at a later date. Airlines have used this tactic since American Airline began its Frequent Flier’s Cards.