It's little wonder there's so much confusion about just what exactly a small business is. There are many definitions, and even within the federal government, there are varying standards.
The U.S. Census tracks small businesses with under 500 employees. According to its data, 78 percent are actually self-employed individuals, and more than 95 percent of small businesses have 10 or fewer workers. Only 0.3 percent fall into the 100 or greater category.
For research purposes, the U.S. Small Business Administration generally considers firms with fewer than 500 employees to be small businesses. But to identify candidates for its programs, the SBA defines a small business, depending on industry, based on sales or number of employees. Sales thresholds range from under $1 million to $35.5 million, with $7 million the most common benchmark. Employee number thresholds range from 50 to 1,500 employees, with 500 employees the most common benchmark.
Among the various exceptions to SBA's 500Read More »from Confused by small business definitions?