Business Travel Definition

Business travel is the practice of employees or professionals going on trips, usually to other locations or cities, on behalf of their company to conduct work-related activities, such as meetings, conferences, or client visits.

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What is business travel?

The simplest business travel definition is travel that is undertaken for business purposes. Business travel does not include daily commutes or trips for leisure purposes. Usually, business travel implies work that requires being away from home for at least a day. Each individual journey is considered a “business trip.”

Business travel can be one of the biggest expenses for a company, whether you have a corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity. Understanding why it may be necessary and how it can impact your business taxes is essential. 

What business travel expenses are tax-deductible?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has its own business travel definition. According to the IRS, business travel includes any travel that the taxpayer does away from the general area of their home for business purposes.  Working away from the general area of your home is defined as outside the entire city or the general area outside your principal business location. 

If you are a small business that is just starting out, it’s important to save as much as possible, even when on the road. Keeping track of tax-deductible expenses will be important when it is time to pay your taxes. The IRS defines deductible business travel expenses as “ordinary and necessary” costs incurred. These include transportation, lodging, meals, entertainment, and some incidentals. 

These expenses are deductible by the business as long as there were no reward points used to pay for any of the expenses. For a business to deduct business travel expenses, they must be paid as reimbursements to employees. A business tax professional can provide more detail on how deductible expenses work. Just remember to keep track of them. 

Business Travel Examples

There are countless reasons you would need to go on a business trip. Many of these factors relate to the industry you are in and how your products or services are marketed. Here are some common reasons to go on a business trip:

  • Attending a business conference, trade show, or convention
  • Installing equipment for a client
  • Job-specific training
  • Meeting in person with remote colleagues
  • Evaluating a project site or location for expansion
  • Industry networking
  • In-person meeting with an important customer
  • Negotiations with suppliers
  • Giving or witnessing a product demonstration. 

In today’s largely remote environment, many companies communicate online with workers in different locations. This can be beneficial to limit the need for travel. But it may also mean that employees have to travel to meet for collaborative in-person work. 

Business Travel Benefits

Whether you are the owner of a company or an employee, business travel can have a lot of great benefits. Employees may have the opportunity to learn more about your specific industry and return with new admiration and passion for their role, along with new ideas. The specific benefits are generally determined by the purpose of the trip. And some people simply enjoy seeing new parts of the world while on business trips.

Business Travel Disadvantages

Everyone’s situation is different. If the employee has children or a close extended family, frequent business travel may pull them away from meaningful events. Occasional travel is reasonable for most people, but when large amounts of time are spent on the road, it can have a negative impact on morale and mental health. Business travel can also be costly, so weighing the costs versus benefits is essential. 


Business travel is a work-related trip that doesn’t include daily commutes, holidays, or vacations.

We Can Help

If you are just starting your journey to becoming a business owner, we can help you through the process with our Business Formation Service and help you plan for growth along the way. One of the best things you can do to ensure continued success is to stay organized. 

Give yourself the best opportunity to move forward smoothly by having all of your documents in one place and all of your expectations set. This can include contracts for your relationships with employees, expectations for business travel record keeping, and more. We can keep you focused with our Business Template Document Library. There are so many things to think about when you are running a business. Let us help, so you can go out and do the fun stuff. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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