This term generally refers either to an entire industry or to all components of an industry.  For exemption purposes, a line of business is a trade or occupation, entry into which is not restricted by a patent, trademark, or other means that allow private parties to restrict the right to engage in the business.  It does not include a group composed of businesses that market a particular brand within an industry.  Thus, for example, an organization that served the needs of users of a specific brand of computer or assisted franchise owners of a particular brand of products promoted only a segment of a line of business and so was not exempt under section 501(c)(6).

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