Chart showing the No. Of Small Businesses in the US (2017–2022)

How Many Small Businesses Are There in the US in 2023?

The strengthening United States economy in recent years has nurtured many opportunities for entrepreneurs, with the number of small businesses in the US on the rise.

In 2023, the number of small businesses in the US reached 33.3 million, making up nearly all (99.9%) US businesses.

The increase in the number of small businesses in the US in 2023 is representative of the sustained growth as it marks a 0.3% increase from the previous year and an overall growth of 12.5% from 2017.

According to the US Small Business Administration, “small businesses” are defined as “firms with fewer than 500 employees.” The report shows that there are around 27.2 million small businesses that do not hire any employees. 5.5 million have fewer than 20 employees, and 648,000 businesses have under 500 employees.

Small business employees in the US

Small enterprises play a significant role in the US economy and are vital to economic development and job creation.

Although the majority of small businesses hire fewer than 100 employees, they are responsible for millions of new jobs created over the past few years. 

In fact, there are currently 61.6 million small business employees in the US, which make up just under half (45.9%) of the US workforce. 

States with the biggest number of small businesses in the US

With San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose all featuring in the top 10 cities in the world that receive the most investment from venture capitalists, it should come as no surprise that California has the highest number of small businesses.

With 4.1 million small businesses in California, it is home to 35.5% more small businesses than Texas, the state with the second-highest number of small businesses in the US.

Here are the states with the most number of small businesses in the US (as of 2023):

  1. California: 4.1 million
  2. Texas: 3.2 million
  3. Florida: 3.1 million
  4. New York: 2.2 million
  5. Illinois: 1.3 million

California’s small business employees make up 47.6% of the state’s total employees, which is higher than the national average. Over the past year, businesses in California added a net total of 1.2 million jobs. Of these, 770,000 (around two-thirds) were from small businesses.

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