The film was released in the UK under the title Filofax.
A convicted car thief and diehard Chicago Cubs fan, Jimmy Dworski (James Belushi) wins tickets to the World Series. Unfortunately, he still has a couple of days left to serve in prison and the warden (Héctor Elizondo) won't let him leave and come back.
With the help of other inmates, Jimmy stages a riot so he can sneak out of prison to see the game. On the way, he finds the filofax of uptight and spineless yuppie advertising executive Spencer Barnes (Charles Grodin), which promises a reward if it is found.
Over the next day, Jimmy takes on Barnes' identity ― staying in the Malibu beach house of Spencer's boss, flirting with the boss's daughter, even taking a meeting with a powerful Japanese food company magnate named Sakamoto (Mako).
The fake "Spencer"'s unorthodox methods, such as beating the magnate at tennis and telling him about the poor quality of his food products, gets the attention of the taken aback Sakamoto. However his unconventional negotiations with the food company insults some of the executives, seemingly ruining Spencer's reputation. Meanwhile, lacking his precious filofax, the real Spencer Barnes is spiraling into the gutter. Losing all his clothes, his car and money, He has to rely on an old college acquaintance, the neurotic and overbearing Debbie Lipton who keeps trying to rekindle a relationship with him.
Finally, Jimmy and Spencer come together at a meeting with the advertising executives, where Spencer is sacked by his boss. As a consolation Jimmy takes Spencer to the World Series. Spencer patches up his marriage with his wife, who had become exasperated with his overworking. Jimmy sneaks back into prison, serves his last couple of hours and is released, only to find Spencer waiting to pick him up. With the promise of a beautiful girlfriend and a well-paying job in advertising working with Spencer, Jimmy's future looks bright, as does that of his beloved Cubs.
- James Belushi as Jimmy Dworski
- Charles Grodin as Spencer Barnes
- Mako as Mr. Sakamoto
- Brian Cummings as the voice of Mr. Sakamoto
- Héctor Elizondo as the Warden
- Veronica Hamel as Elizabeth Barnes
- Loryn Locklin as Jewel Bentley
- Anne De Salvo as Debbie Lipton
- Burke Byrnes as Prison Guard
The movie gained negative reviews.
Baseball scenes for Taking Care of Business were filmed at Angel Stadium of Anaheim in California.
The film grossed $20 million in the USA.