How to Write the Company Overview for a Business Plan

Hot air balloon sailing over a grassy plain. Represents providing a high-level overview of your company.
Author: Tim Berry

Tim Berry

Tim Berry

10 min. read

Updated January 17, 2024

What does your business structure look like? Who is involved? What’s your history?

These are all important questions that you’ll answer by writing the company overview section of your business plan. 

We’ll explain what to include, how to write it, and provide completed examples for you to reference.

What is a company overview?

The company overview (or business overview) section of your business plan briefly explains the legal structure, management team, and history of your business. 

The company overview is typically the shortest chapter of your plan and works as a sort of company record. 

It’s incredibly important if you’re seeking investment as it explains how the business is legally structured and who is involved from an ownership and management perspective.

However, you likely don’t need a company overview if you don’t plan on presenting or sharing the plan with someone outside of your business.

What to include in the company overview

What’s included in your company overview depends on how you intend to use your business plan. 

For example, if you don’t intend on sharing your plan with anyone outside of your organization, you can likely skip documenting simple legal information.

For this guide, we’ll cover the basics that most businesses should include in their company description.

Business structure

First, you’ll want to define what type of organization your business is registered as. The most common business structures in the US include:

Take some time to understand the differences. Your business structure will impact how you file your taxes, your liability for business debt, and the type of insurance you’ll need. 

For the purposes of this section, it provides context for how your business legally operates. Consider adding an explanation of why you chose this specific structure and how it impacts your business.

Read More: Types of Business Structures Explained

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You’ll also need to outline the ownership stake in your company. Just list out who owns what percentage of your business, even if it’s just you. 

It may also be useful to include how each individual is involved in your business. 

However, if an investor or equity holder is involved in day-to-day operations, you may want to go more in depth on the management portion of your company overview, detailing each member’s experience and qualifications.


Include basic logistical information about where your business is located, additional locations the business owns, and any locations that may be acquired in the near future.

Don’t worry about going overly in-depth regarding each location’s facilities and operational functions. You will cover those details as part of the operations section of your business plan.

Company history

Your company background or history is the “Once upon a time…” of your business plan. At a minimum, you should include:

  • When it was founded
  • Who was involved
  • Major milestones up to this point

The details in this section will vary depending on who this business plan is being presented to and the stage of your company. 

For example: if you’re a relatively young business, don’t assume you have no history. 

It may not be a lengthy epic, but you have the history of who came up with the idea, how they came up with it, and how and why other people joined. 

This can matter to potential investors.

So, stay flexible when describing your history. Always keep your specific business purpose and your target reader in mind. 

If you share your plan with a third party, focus on presenting a strong track record of success and good decision-making. If you have a longer history, there are likely highlights to include and some key points you want to make. 

Just make sure not to bore them by overloading your plan with lengthy information that doesn’t connect back to your key business decisions.

Management team

The management team section of your business plan is where you showcase your team and their finest attributes.

Be sure to include details about yourself and your employees, including: 

  • Work experience
  • Past successes
  • Degrees or other credentials 

Professional gaps and planned hires

There may be team members you know you’re lacking. In that case, mention these roles and your plans to fill them.

Include which people might be taking on multiple responsibilities to fill the current gap. Additionally, if you have specific people in mind, include them, even if they aren’t currently on staff.

It’s worth pulling in supporting data from your personnel forecast that’s part of your financial plan. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed. It can just be a simple personnel table with reference to where the full financial exploration is located.

Board of advisors

If you have mentors or board members who aren’t directly involved, but help you to define your vision and overall strategy—they’re also worth mentioning. 

This can bolster your credibility through association with well-respected and experienced individuals. 

Just like with your management team and staff, include their name, position, credentials, experience, and any other important information that showcases why their involvement is valuable.

Similarly, if you are working with a lawyer, accountant, or other supporting professional—include them.

How to write your company overview

The company overview is one of the more straightforward sections when writing a business plan. You already know what to include, so here’s how we recommend you approach the writing process.

1. Cover the basics

Start by listing and grouping your business information into the appropriate sections. 

Depending on what you intend to do with your plan, this may be all you need for now. This is a high-level overview of your business; the most important thing is having all the necessary information in one place.

Focus on brevity. 

You can always reference other areas of your plan and house additional documents (like resumes, articles of incorporation, legal documents, full company timeline, etc.) in your appendix.

2. List the high points of your history

Take the time to accurately reflect your company history. Avoid creating a vague story or an overly long narrative documenting every small decision you’ve made. 

Like everything else in this section, keep it short and sweet. Highlight key dates, milestones (like a product or service launch), and other crucial events that impacted the trajectory of your business.

Remember, you can always point to other areas of your plan when necessary.

3. Adjust to your target audience

While we recommend keeping this section simple, it may require updates depending on who is reading your plan. That typically means adding more context or reasoning for why your business is set up as it is.

For example: You start as a partnership and include your business structure as a formality. However, you are now planning to apply for a loan. It would be worth revisiting the overview at this stage to add a brief statement about why you chose this structure and how it impacts your business.

Company overview examples

Even if you know what to include, it can still be helpful to review completed business overview examples to confirm you’re on the right track. 

Agriculture farm company overview example

Ownership & structure

Botanical Bounty is an Oregon L.L.C. owned by David and Susan Nealon. The L.L.C. business structure has been chosen as a strategic way to shield the Nealons from personal liability.

Company history

Botanical Bounty has been in operation for two years. It started as a hobby where Susan could use her plant biology skills while covering some of the costs. The Nealons were able to achieve this lifestyle due to a windfall that David received as a result of exercising stock options. 

After the second year, the Nealons decided that although they had the money to live on for many years, it would be irresponsible to needlessly spend it so they got serious about the business and made a concerted effort to become profitable.

Botanical Bounty has chosen the Willamette River Valley as an ideal place to grow perennials and owns 10 acres of land used for production. During several of the winter months, production is moved into their greenhouse for propagation. Botanical Bounty employs a drip irrigation system for all of the plants.

Management team

Botanical Bounty will be led by the husband and wife team of David and Sue Nealon. David brings a wealth of business and project management skills to the company. 

While working at Yahoo!, David was responsible for the successful launch and market lead capture of Yahoo!’s driving directions section. David will be responsible for the business operations of the farm. 

Sue, with a background in plant biology, will be the driving force of the operation, growing the highest active ingredient content plants in the country. Additionally, because of her wealth of knowledge, she will lead the sales department.

Nursing home company overview example

Ownership & Structure

Bright House is chartered as a nonprofit 501(C)(3) corporation in Middletown, CT, with the goal of providing holistic and respectful assisted living and skilled nursing home care to a small group of elderly residents. 

Our primary location is the old Wayfield Bed and Breakfast on Farmer’s Road, which we have spent the last five months converting into a two-building nursing home facility in line with Eden Alternatives “Greenhouse” model for enlightened elder living.

Management Team

Bright House offers a different management structure from that of the typical hospital-model nursing home. Our primary caregivers, the 6 Elder Assistants, work as a self-managed team. They meet with the Medical Director and the nurse on-call every morning to coordinate care for the coming day.

The Medical Director has the ultimate responsibility for the health and well-being of all residents and visitors. However, the nursing and caregiving staff have unique knowledge about the residents’ physical, social, and mental well-being. They are expected to note, discuss, and recommend courses of action for all residents who, in their combined estimation, need help.

Our compensation packages, management structure, and caregiving requirements are designed to continually remind our LPNs and Elder Assistants how very valuable they are. 

Dr. Mildred Johnson is our Medical Director

Dr. Johnson has served as the head of Gerontology for six years at The Connecticut Hospital and oversaw the creation last year of their Elder Assistant training program, which provides certification for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) to provide in-home hospice and respite care. 

Dr. Johnson has 20 years of experience working with elderly patients in this area and has been integral in designing the physical layout, management structure, and priorities of Bright House.

The rest of our already-hired caregiving staff brings a whopping 75 years of professional experience in caring for elderly patients.

Financial Management

Madeleine Morgan has been overseeing the financial management of nonprofit organizations in Connecticut for 27 years. 

She became involved in our project when her mother developed a long-term care plan with Dr. Johnson which included home-based hospice care.

“I wish everyone could have the same love and attention Dr. Johnson showed to my mother,” Madeleine said. 

Ms. Morgan will be in charge of all financial operations at Bright House, overseeing billing, personnel payment and benefits, and development efforts.

Advertising and Marketing

We are fortunate to have a skilled public relations officer in our group. Janice Ruthers is a retired ad executive living in Middletown with her husband (a professor at the university). 

She will be working 20 hours per week in our offices as a volunteer for the first two years of our plan, helping us design advertisements and brochures and plan events like our Open House in December to let the public see the results of our efforts.

Management Team Gaps

We still need to hire one swing-shift LPN and one Elder Assistant. We are currently recruiting through Dr. Johnson’s connections at The Connecticut Hospital and expect to complete our team by mid-December at the latest.

Explore more business plan examples

Want to see more examples like these? Check out our library of over 550+ sample business plans to see how other real-world businesses structured their company overview sections. 

You can also download a free business plan template to ensure you cover all the necessary details. It includes step-by-step instructions to make writing quick and easy.

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Content Author: Tim Berry

Tim Berry is the founder and chairman of Palo Alto Software , a co-founder of Borland International, and a recognized expert in business planning. He has an MBA from Stanford and degrees with honors from the University of Oregon and the University of Notre Dame. Today, Tim dedicates most of his time to blogging, teaching and evangelizing for business planning.