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What Are Business Hours?

Bars and pubs typically stay open later than most businesses so people can eat and drink later in the day.
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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2014
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Business hours are the common hours during which a company is open to conduct business. The specific hours during which a business is open can vary according to many factors, including the type of business, the location of the business, and the size and scope of the business. In many parts of the world the most common business hours are from 9 AM until 5 PM, though in other parts of the world the hours of business may be much shorter or much longer. They may also be staggered. Hotels, airports, bars, clubs, and other businesses may keep hours far different from the norm.

A business owner can determine his or her own business hours to best accommodate the customers as well as the needs of the owner and employees. Some retail stores, for example, may be open from 8 or 9 AM until 9 PM or later. Convenience stores and gas stations often advertise themselves as open for 24 hours a day, and some bars or clubs may not open until the early evening. They may then close late at night or early in the morning; their business hours are sometimes dictated by local laws.

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Companies that do business across a continent or even globally may keep business hours that accommodate telephone correspondence or conferencing via the internet. Some companies are even functional on some level 24 hours a day to accommodate global customers in different time zones. Within a certain country, a business may be open late or very early to accommodate customers on the other side of the continent.

It is not uncommon to find a business that keeps business hours on the weekends as well, though traditionally business hours were kept only during the week. Retail stores, restaurants, and recreational businesses tend to thrive on the weekends, so they are more likely to keep hours of operation on weekends. Banks will also sometimes keep truncated hours of operation on the weekends. A common practice among many businesses is to keep hours from 9 AM to 1 PM, or a similarly short schedule, on Saturdays and Sundays. Other businesses will be closed on the weekends entirely.

Modified hours of operation are common on holidays as well. This may mean a business is closed or only open for a short period of time during the holiday, or it may mean the business has extended hours. Retail establishments commonly extend hours during the holidays, especially around Christmas time.

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