They can be, but many aren’t.
Many businesses rely upon delivering a good or service to a consumer. This usually requires hands-on attention. If this attention is given by you, then the business is not passive. However, this business can become passive if you hire employees. Then, you need only to check up on the business since someone else is doing the day-to-day grind. The beauty of this is that you can repeat this process and expand the business. Instead of you doing all the work as a one-man show, you could have several employees, each doing the amount of work you were doing, and now the business makes several times what it did.