Under traditional business theory, the main objective of any business is to make a profit for its owners. Only those business activities that result in the highest profit margin meet this basic objective.
Profit motive is considered the primary economic concept that drives business development and operation under a capitalistic system. While business owners may have diverse reasons for investing in an enterprise, the legal system uses the profit motive as the basic standard to determine if decisions made by individuals in charge of a business ultimately benefit the owners as a group. Many critics of the profit motive concept argue that a focus on socially responsible profit making and making a profit by doing good in the world can replace a sole focus on profit maximization.