Standalone: able to operate without control from another system, company, etc.

self-contained: not requiring help or support from anyone or anything else : complete by itself

Independent : not associated with or owned by a larger business

From Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary

Suppose a company is spinning off one of its divisions into a separate company. This division becomes a standalone/self-contained/independent business. Can I use all of them here? What is the difference between them?

1 Answer 1


Independence is the best fit.

In my own experience, standalone is more for products, and self-contained is more for systems. A quick search seems to back this up, at least colloquially.

Go to google and just type in 'standalone'. You'll see that the autofill suggestions are consumer products (vr headset, smartwatch). Do the same for self-contained and you'll see 'classroom' and 'ecosystem'. Now do the same with 'independent' and you'll see business types: contractor, towing, realty.

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