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Number of small businesses in the U.S. 1988-2017

This statistic shows the number of small businesses in the United States from 1988 to 2017. The statistic includes data on employers and non-employers. In 2017, about 5.98 million small business firms and 25.7 million non-employers were counted in the United States.

Number of small businesses (employer and non-employer) in the United States from 1988 to 2017

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Release date

March 2020


United States

Survey time period

1988 to 2017

Supplementary notes

The Small Business Administration defines a small business for research purposes as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees.
The source provides no non-employer data for the years 1988-1991 and 1993-1996.
Non-employer data available here.
Employer firm data available here.

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