Each gamer plays with a family, and the family can have a family business. This business can be controlled by any family character in combination with another career. Family members can also be employed in the family business as managers.
If a family is from the noble class they can start a Joint Stock Company, which are several businesses combined. Businesses of a Joint Stock Company can only be established in a single ‘business line’, such as Timber and Woods, Minerals and Metals, Crops, Animal Products, Sea Products, Healthcare, Shipbuilding and Shipping, Entertainment and Hospitality, etc. Joint Stock companies can sell shares on the Stock Market.
Products are divided in Resource Goods, such as a tree trunk, and Refined Goods, such as a plank. To craft a musket barrel, steel ingots are needed. This requires Quicklime, Charcoal and Pig Iron. Pig Iron requires Iron Ore. Charcoal requires timber, which requires roundwood. The production of these raw or refined goods require Mines, Quarries, Smelters, Lumberyards, Sawmills, Blacksmiths, and so on. Each of these facilities is one business. This means that to create complex end products, businesses need to work together to change raw goods into refined goods into end products, but they can also sell each of these goods directly onto the market.
There are three classes of goods: Consumables, Materials and Luxuries. Consumers of the Lower-, Middle- and Upper classes buy these types of goods in different quantities. In addition there are Armaments and Ships that are sold to armed forces, companies and gamers. A nation can tax the classes of goods at different rates.
To acquire a family business, the gamer needs the right qualifications and enough funds, which can be secured by a bank loan if money is tight. Next, the gamer can lease a plot of land from the Governor of a port that is suitable for their preferred type of business. Not all plots of land are always available in every port. Some resources are specific to a region or to the local climate. Land can be scarce in certain areas, but the gamer can lease plots of land in other nations as well as long as the nations are not at war. These types of ‘plot’ businesses are managed on paper, the gamer can’t physically visit them.
Additionally there are the in-port businesses, such as the Shipyard, the Tavern, the Inn, the Weaponsmith, the Tailor, the Printshop, the Hospital, and so forth. These businesses can be visited by all gamers in the port. Port businesses are tricky to acquire because there is usually only one type of each business in a port and there are a limited amount of ports in the world. In port businesses the gamers often produce specialized goods, such as ships, weapons, costumes, jewellery, books, art, sea charts, provide healthcare, lodging, etc., and can have highly specialized careers.