Entrepreneurial risk

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Entrepreneurial risk is the chance of profit or risk of loss resulting from the entrepreneurial activity. The risk of loss can consist of a loss of the equity capital employed , but also when the success of the entrepreneurial workforce is uncertain.


Entrepreneurial risks and the possibilities of limiting them are a central topic of business administration , as they are inextricably linked with entrepreneurial activity. That is why business administration has dealt in detail with the concept of entrepreneurial risk. But other disciplines also use entrepreneurial risk for their individual goals and therefore need their own terminology .

Conceptual content

Entrepreneurial risk is initially a term from business administration. This differentiates between general and special entrepreneurial risk. The general entrepreneurial risk has no relation to the operational service creation process and affects the company as a whole ( economic downturn , price fluctuations , inflation , demand behavior ). The general entrepreneurial risk is expressed in the danger that the actual future overall development of the company deviates unfavorably from the planned dates. Since the general entrepreneurial risk relates to the company as a whole, it cannot be recorded in terms of costs , but rather has to be compensated by profit . According to Erich Gutenberg, the entrepreneurial profit is a “typical venture income”. There is therefore no special remuneration for the insecurity of the company that the entrepreneur takes on . This distinguishes him from the investor (on the capital market) who demands a risk premium for the uncertainty of an investment . Special entrepreneurial risks result from the company's production activities. The article on the risk report gives an overview of this .

In addition, the entrepreneurial risk is also of importance in German social security law for questions of compulsory or exemption from social insurance, i.e. the demarcation between self-employed and dependent employment , for the assessment of which the entrepreneurial risk is an important factor. According to this, the entrepreneurial risk is an important criterion for independence, in addition to the free availability of one's own workforce and the lack of instructions. Furthermore, the entrepreneurial risk is a term from tax law . Here entrepreneurial risk means that the entrepreneur shares in the success or failure of the business enterprise.

An entrepreneur bears the risk that the capital invested is lost and the success of the capital investment is uncertain. The entrepreneurial risk can also lie in the uncertain success of using one's own labor. According to the case law of the Federal Social Court (BSG), there is an entrepreneurial risk if the success of one's own economic commitment is uncertain. It regularly means using your own capital, which can also be associated with the risk of loss.

However, the existence of an entrepreneurial risk is not absolutely crucial. Rather, the exposure to risks can only speak for independence if the entrepreneurial risk is offset by greater freedom in structuring and determining the extent of the use of one's own workforce.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Silvia Rogler, Risk Management in Industrial Operations , 2002, p. 1
  2. Heinz Kußmaul, Business Administration for Entrepreneurs , 2008, p. 148
  3. ^ Hans Münstermann, Value and Evaluation of the Company , 1966, p. 75
  4. Erich Gutenberg, Basics on the problem of business performance evaluation and pricing , in: Dieführung des Betrieb , Festschrift für Wilhelm Kalveram , 1942, pp. 307–342
  5. BSGE 35, 20 , 21
  6. ^ BFH, judgment of August 14, 1986, Az .: IV R 131/84; BStB. II 1987 23, 24 = BFHE 147, 432
  7. BSG, judgment of July 13, 1978, Az .: 12 RK 14/78 = VersR 1980, 141
  8. BSG, judgment of March 14, 2018, Az .: B 12 KR 3/17 R = NZS 2018, 867