Small Business Statistics

Facts and FAQs

There are 30,748,033 small businesses in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration.

99.9% of all businesses are small businesses, in the United States.

Small businesses employ 59.9 million people.  Small businesses employ 47.3 percent of the U.S. private workforce, on a percentage basis. 

Note; the private workforce excludes government workers.

The average number of employees in a small business is about 10. This is the average for small businesses that have at least one employee.  

Out of the small businesses in the United States that have employees, here is the breakdown by size:

  • 5,305,960 small businesses have 1 to 19 employees.  
  • 629,025 small businesses have 20 to 499 employees. 
 

24,813,048 small businesses in the United States have no employees. The government calls these businesses “nonemployer businesses.”  

From 2000 to 2018, small businesses created 9.6 million net
new jobs while large businesses created 5.2 million.  Small businesses account  for 64.9% of net new jobs in the United States. 

Net new jobs by small businesses

Here are the top 12 industries with the most small businesses:

  1. Other Services  (4,369,360)
  2. Professional, Scientific and Technical Services  (4,243,655)
  3. Construction  (3,153,318)
  4. Real Estate, Rental and Leasing  (2,976,866)
  5. Retail Trade (2,652,398)
  6. Health Care and Social Assistance  (2,611,113)
  7. Administrative, Support and Waste Management  (2,419,721)
  8. Transportation and Warehousing  (2,044,156)
  9. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation  (1,509,282)
  10. Finance and Insurance  (953,064)
  11. Accommodation and Food Services  (908,281)
  12. Educational Services  (808,345) 

The above industry breakdown accounts for approximately 93 percent of all small businesses in the United States. (The number of businesses per industry  is in parentheses.)

The data and charts on this page are from the most recently available U.S. government statistics. Sources include the U.S. Census, the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Page last updated March 24, 2020.

Number of Small Businesses - State Map

Small Business Statistics by State

StateNumber of Small BusinessesPercent of Businesses
that are Small
Number of Small
Business Employees
Percent of Workforce in Small Businesses
Alabama
396,432
99.4%
789,425
47.2%
Alaska
73,354
99.1%
141,147
53.0%
Arizona
571,495
99.4%
1,039,228
43.7%
Arkansas
249,907
99.3%
490,497
47.9%
California
4,203,260
99.8%
7,129,204
48.8%
Colorado
630,113
99.5%
1,117,202
48.2%
Connecticut
346,950
99.3%
750,457
48.9%
Delaware
82,121
98.3%
187,556
46.9%
District of Columbia
76,083
98.2%
247,461
47.0%
Florida
2,494,279
99.8%
3,397,931
41.6%
Georgia
1,051,071
99.6%
1,637,892
43.1%
Hawaii
132,640
99.3%
275,115
52.1%
Idaho
162,905
99.2%
315,753
56.2%
Illinois
1,233,572
99.6%
2,485,857
45.1%
Indiana
512,348
99.4%
1,222,372
44.9%
Iowa
270,484
99.3%
651,635
48.1%
Kansas
254,297
99.1%
604,215
51.0%
Kentucky
351,260
99.3%
702,054
43.8%
Louisiana
447,440
99.5%
902,758
52.8%
Maine
147,270
99.2%
289,156
56.5%
Maryland
594,124
99.5%
1,143,191
50.1%
Massachusetts
669,224
99.5%
1,490,416
45.8%
Michigan
873,722
99.6%
1,868,885
49.1%
Minnesota
520,110
99.5%
1,254,958
47.2%
Mississippi
257,404
99.3%
440,399
46.9%
Missouri
532,277
99.4%
1,168,725
46.8%
Montana
120,246
99.3%
245,411
64.8%
Nebraska
176,358
99.1%
412,291
46.6%
Nevada
270,079
99.2%
487,407
41.8%
New Hampshire
134,760
99.0%
295,895
49.8%
New Jersey
884,049
99.6%
1,810,107
49.8%
New Mexico
154,804
99.0%
334,945
53.3%
New York
2,168,799
99.8%
4,106,086
50.2%
North Carolina
913,398
99.6%
1,672,050
44.1%
North Dakota
73,142
98.8%
198,964
57.3%
Ohio
949,479
99.6%
2,192,920
45.8%
Oklahoma
350,718
99.4%
712,582
52.4%
Oregon
377,860
99.4%
852,983
55.0%
Pennsylvania
1,058,033
99.6%
2,497,524
46.6%
Rhode Island
101,516
98.9%
229,974
52.8%
South Carolina
418,031
99.4%
794,711
46.3%
South Dakota
86,550
99.0%
210,534
58.8%
Tennessee
603,310
99.4%
1,096,245
42.3%
Texas
2,679,964
99.8%
4,706,864
45.1%
Utah
287,803
99.3%
572,888
46.2%
Vermont
77,614
99.0%
161,080
61.3%
Virginia
745,886
99.5%
1,535,136
47.2%
Washington
608,956
99.5%
1,379,558
51.4%
West Virginia
113,410
98.9%
275,145
49.2%
Wisconsin
452,594
99.4%
1,258,929
49.9%
Wyoming
66,653
98.8%
131,499
63.1%
US flag Total United States
30,748,033
99.9%
59,915,217
47.3%

Table Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau. Figures released by the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, “Small Business Profiles”. Table does not include territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam. Percent of workforce in small businesses is based on the number of people employed in the private (nongovernmental) workforce. Percentages are rounded.

Small Business Demographics

Almost 51% of small business owners are 50 years old or older.  The breakdown is as follows:

  • Under 35 years  –  15.9%
  • Age 35 to 49 –  33.2%
  • Age 50 to 88 – 50.9%

Most people think of entrepreneurs as young, and for startups that tends to be true. However, successful small businesses have been around for years. The owner of these established small businesses ages along with the business. 

There are 2.52 million veteran-owned small businesses in the United States. Read more, including which industries and states they are in: Veteran Owned Small Business Statistics.

Small Business Financial Profile

22.3 million small businesses are sole proprietors. And about 3 million small businesses are S corps.  Partnerships and C corporations make up the rest. See the accompanying chart. 

The numbers break down according to business size:

  • Among small businesses without employees, the vast majority are sole proprietors (86.6%). A small business that has no employees tends to be much smaller in revenue size, too.
  • Once a business gets large enough to have employees or its finances get more complex, the business is more likely to file an S corp election with the IRS. Nearly half of all businesses large enough to have employees choose S-corp status. 

In practice, most businesses start out as sole proprietors, perhaps using a single-member LLC (still considered a sole proprietor by the IRS for tax purposes).  But as the business grows, the owner may find it advantageous tax-wise to become an employee of his or her own company and file an S-corp election to save on FICA taxes.

The median income for small business owners is: 

$51,419 for owners in incorporated businesses.
$25,240 for owners in unincorporated businesses.

Median income means that half of small business owners’ earnings are above the number, and half are below.  

Source of the above: American Community Survey, U.S. Census, 2017.

A different set of figures comes from private firm Payscale. Its research shows that the average small business owner makes  $69,532 a year.  The range is $30,000 to $149,000 annually.

Statistics by Subject

We have collected statistics on a variety of subjects – useful for benchmarking, determining best practices, and deciding on opportunities to pursue. 

Featured Small Business Studies

Part of our service to the small business community is to cover interesting studies and surveys. This information can help you make plans, benchmark your performance, and develop best practices.  Here is some of our notable recent coverage.

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