Examples of Company Purpose Statements
This page provides some guidance on and real examples of company mission statements.
When writing a business plan, it is important to have a clear, singular company purpose. It can be helpful to read the company purpose statements of actual, successful companies when developing your own.
In the legal filing of a new company, the purpose can be broadly defined as any lawful purpose for which companies may be organized. (The legal filings in your state may be called Articles of Incorporation for a corporation, or Articles of Organization for a limited liability company. )
In the business plan, it is often best for the purpose to be narrow and focused to a tiny, vertical, niche market. For a small company, anything broader can cause the company to spread its efforts too thinly, and thereby never succeed in any market. In fact, a broad mission statement should be considered a red flag, warning you about the potential viability of the company (whether it be your own or one you will invest in).
A company purpose can evolve over time. In a growing company, the purpose broadens, while in a shrinking company, the purpose narrows. Below are some actual, edited examples taken from company websites. The historical examples are taken from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
Niche Internet Company Statements
- 'Domain Tools' is a place for every type of diagnostic widget related to domain names. (2006, http://www.domaintools.com/)
- The Internet Archive was founded to build an ‘Internet library,’ with the purpose of offering permanent access for researchers, historians, and scholars to historical collections that exist in digital format. (2006, http://www.archive.org/)
Diversified Company Statements
- 3M is a diversified technology company with a worldwide presence in the following markets: consumer and office; display and graphics; electro and communications; health care; industrial and transportation; and safety, security and protection services. (2006, http://www.3m.com/)
- GE people worldwide are dedicated to turning imaginative ideas into leading products and services that help solve some of the world's toughest problems. (2006, http://www.ge.com/)
Broadening Company Purpose
- Google Inc. was founded to make it easier to find high-quality information on the web. (1998, archive.org copy of google.com)
- Google is a privately held and profitable company focused on search services. (2001, archive.org copy of google.com)
- Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful (2006, http://www.google.com/).
- Wikipedia is a collaborative project to produce a free and complete encyclopedia in every language. (2001, http://www.wikipedia.com/)
- The goals of the Wikimedia Foundation are to encourage the growth and development of open content, WikiWiki-based projects, and to provide the full contents of those projects to the public free of charge and without advertising. (2004, http://wikimediafoundation.org/)
- The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is an international non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. (2006, http://wikimediafoundation.org/)
Narrowing Company Purpose
- As the nation's leading wireless ISP, our goal is to provide low-cost, easy-to-use products and solutions that let you use your laptop, or the full range of Handheld PCs, Palm organizers, Smartphones, and PDAs, to wirelessly access Web-based information over today's wireless data networks using standard Web browsers. (1998)
- GoAmerica Communications Corporation is a leading provider of secure wireless data solutions for enterprises and mobile professionals. (2003)
- The Company is currently focused on providing a mix of value-added, accessible communications products and services to consumers who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired. (2006, http://www.goamerica.com/
The above examples contain one or more of the following elements.
- Who founded the company
- When the company was founded
- The company's position in the market (especially if it is a market leader)
- The company's legal organization (corporation, non-profit, private, public, etc.)
- Company purpose, mission, dedication, profile, scope, or statement
- The product or service
- Words that describe the product or service
- Who is the customer
- Legal Guide For Starting & Running A Small Business - This book is an excellent resource for small business owners.
Disclaimer: This content is provided as-is. The information may be incorrect.