Ethical Principles for an Ideal Businessperson

List of Ethical Principles for an Ideal Businessperson

As a business person, you have to be mindful of various things while you work. One of these things is the ethical standards of principles that you abide by. Such moral standards are essential for a helpful leader and successful businessperson. Let’s know the Ethical Principles for an Ideal Businessperson.

These ethical standards help the businessperson avoid any unfair activities in their organization and inspire the employees. So we have compiled a list of twelve business ethical principles that you could abide by to become a better leader.

Why Do Businesspersons Need Ethical Principles?

You might wonder what the purpose of these ethical principles is in your business. You might have met many employers in your life who may not have followed one of many such principles. But having ethical principles is one of the most incredible benefits for a businessperson.

Let us understand why ethical principles are essential through an example. Imagine two businesspersons- A & B. Person A strictly abides by the ethical principles and never cuts corners, for that matter.

Whereas person B doesn’t stick to the principles and doesn’t hesitate to take a shortcut when they want. The employees under person A see their boss as reliable, even though success doesn’t come pouring at one.

But the employees under person B can’t trust their boss and even though they might be earning more, feel insecure in their work. So ultimately, person A would have better relations and work their way up. But person B would never earn trust and create only a weak network.

What Is the Benefit of Ethical Principles?

In a world where businesspersons have achieved success beyond imagination, you must wonder how they got there from having absolutely nothing. Most of the businesses start in a garage or backyard and grow to become internationally recognized.

Hard work is undoubtedly a factor contributing to such success, but it is not solely hard work. Having ethical principles in mind while you work is also essential. Such moral principles help you maintain order in your organization.

The ethical principles make you a leader who leads your employees to success. A person who doesn’t cut corners or do unjust actions just in the name of success. These principles must get applied in your daily work life.

It would help you create the best relations with your employees and customers alike. Having ideal relations with your workers and even the users, you tend to is essential to boost your business.

All The Ethical Principles

In a report by the Josephson Institute, the author mentioned how there are twelve basic ethics for a businessperson to follow. However, if we look at it, ethics cannot be put into one box since they are abstract.

But some main ethical principles can help give a businessperson a direction. It can help them avoid any unjust actions that they might take otherwise. So these twelve principles are what you must teach and abide by to be the best business person and leader:


Communication is a pivotal part of any organization, and a leader must keep the communication perfect to avoid issues. However, if there are any loopholes or misinformation in communication, then the operations won’t go as smoothly. 

So a businessperson must always stick to the truth and never be dishonest with their employees. The truth might be bitter at times, but it is still better than sugarcoating words. They should also keep in mind to avoid any misunderstandings or misinformation too.


A businessperson might think about their employees and company a lot, but if they do not display it in their actions, then what is the point? The personal integrity of any person determines their working attitude too.

A businessperson must take extra care to follow up their thoughts or promises with due action. It is the only way they can further inspire their employees to do so too.

Promise-Keeping & Trust-Worthiness

A business person must be true to their word and never go back on their statements. There may be situations that may lead to promises, but one should respect such promises as well. Only then would an employee or customer deem them trustable.  

If, as a businessperson, you have made a promise to your employee or customer, you must fulfill that promise. Even though it might be a bother to go out of your way for it, you must keep your word.


The feeling of loyalty, whether it is towards your client or employee, is essential. If an employee or customer feels the absence of such loyalty, they might not put as much trust in you. 

And even though temporary relations may take you to heights, a stable business is a result of strong relations and connections. Hence, loyalty towards the employees and customers is one of the most needed ethical principles.


Justice is a concept that we hear a lot about but is present rarely in real life. Facing unfair situations in the company, whether it is an employee or client, is extremely difficult. Also, there are so many instances of unfair treatment of people based on their uniqueness.

Such behavior would only lead to a lack of trust in the people. Hence, even if you do not personally engage in such activities, you must stop such unjust practices from happening in your business.

Concern for Others

The best leaders are usually the ones who have a warm relationship with their employees. It might not be possible for a businessperson to personally greet and take care of all their employees.

However, they can ensure that the employees are doing well and do not face any difficulties in work. They can focus on mutual growth and development alongside employees first, and then success will follow.

Respect for Others

A respectful employer or employee is one who also receives respect from others. Since respect is a mutual thing that must be equal from both parties, having respect for your clients and employees is essential.

You may not understand their viewpoint or disagree with them, and that’s alright. But it is essential to still respect them regardless of your differences. And you could also ensure that no discrimination is present in the workplace for any employee or client.

Law Abiding

One of the most necessary ethical principles for any firm is law-abiding principles. As you may already know, illegal activities may be the shorter or easier way to do certain tasks. However, they are illegal and unethical to perform.

So a responsible businessperson must abide by the law at all times and ensure that their employees do the same. No illegal action must get justified, whether it is by the businessperson or any employee.

Commitment to Excellence

A feature that makes businesspersons so different from regular contract workers is their passion. Their constant search for improvement and perfection in their endeavors set them apart from others.

It is why many businesspersons reach milestones that others couldn’t even dream of. So committing to excellence in all their work is essential for a business person. They must strive to improve upon their performance and the performance of their employees too.


A successful business or firm is not built solely by the founder; it comes together with the network of employees. It includes the joint effort of multiple workers together. Hence, leadership is essential to lead the employees well.

Having confidence and providing employees with the direction would help them reach their potentials while working. A businessperson must take the responsibility and duties of being a leader and follow them well too.

Reputation & Morale

Nobody would want to associate themselves with a firm that doesn’t have a good brand image. Whether it is because of dissatisfied customers or mistreated employees, having a tarnished image would harm you greatly.

Hence, you must take action when any unjust or unfair situation takes place. You must not refrain from taking strict actions against an employee who would make another employee or customer feel dissatisfied or disrespected.


Taking accountability for one’s actions is an essential life ethic for every person. No human is perfect, and we may make mistakes on our way, but holding ourselves responsible and admitting to them is essential.

A businessperson who gives importance to accountability for themselves, their employees, and their firm becomes trustable. The transparency helps the clients and employees feel safer with the firm.


Knowing and abiding by ethical principles is a must for businesspersons. It is beneficial not only to them but also to their employees and the organization. Sticking by the principles helps them create the best working environment.

It also encourages them to become helpful and inspiring leaders and create lasting relations in their work. So, now that you have read about the twelve ethical principles, you can apply them in your work and abide by them to become an ideal businessperson.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Are ethical principles necessary to follow for businesspersons?

No, ethical principles are ideal, but they are not compulsory. You could choose to follow them or not do so either. But it is best to follow ethical principles to become a reliable and trustworthy person.

2. Are ethical principles helpful in business?

Of course, ethical principles are an essential feature to succeed in any business. Having ethical principles while you work is one of the biggest benefits you could have, which would help you build a strong and lasting network.

3. What are the twelve ethical principles for businesspersons?

The twelve ethical principles as per the Josephson Institute are- Honesty, Integrity, Promise Keeping & Trust-Worthiness, Loyalty, Fairness, Concern for Others, Respect for Others, Law Abiding, Commitment to Excellence, Leadership, Reputation & Morale, Accountability.

Ethical Principles for an Ideal Businessperson

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