The Small Business Administration (SBA) office of advocacy defines a small business as an independent business with less than 500 employees. In 2008, there were 29.6 million businesses in the United States, according to Office of Advocacy estimates. Census data show that there were 6.0 million firms with employees in 2006 and 21.7 million without employees in 2007. Small firms with fewer than 500 employees represent 99.9 percent of the 29.6 million businesses (including both employers and non-employers) and there were about 18,000 large businesses in 2006.
Small business role in US Economy
- They represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms
- The small business employ half of all in private sector employees
- These businesses pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll
- They have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years
- Small business hire 40 percent of high tech workers such as scientists, computer programmers and engineers.
- Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)