the U.S. Census Website
Wolves' Boost Nonemployer Businesses Past 20 Million
A daily average of 2,356 people went into business for themselves
as the nations number of businesses without a payroll
reached 20.4 million in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau announced
According to Nonemployer Statistics: 2005, the addition of 860,000
firms where an owner ventures outside the typical business culture
of bosses and employees increased 4.4 percent over a one-year
period. Businesses without paid employees, known in the business
industry as lone wolves, had receipts of $951 billion
and make up approximately 78 percent of the nations 26
The report has data on 17.7 million individual proprietorships,
more than 1.3 million corporations and 1.3 million partnerships.
Nonemployer firms may be run by one or more individuals and
can range from home-based businesses to corner stores or construction
contractors. These firms are often part-time ventures with owners
operating more than one business.
Among the fastest-growing industries are Web search portals
(41.2 percent), Internet service providers (16.6 percent), nail
salons (18 percent), electronic shopping and mail-order houses
(12 percent), recreational vehicle dealers (12.1 percent) and
landscaping services (11.1 percent).
The District of Columbia led the nation in the growth of these
small businesses with a 9.6 percent increase between 2004 and
2005, followed by Nevada at 7.7 percent and Florida with a 7.6
percent growth rate.
and Utah had increases of 7.6 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively,
to round out the top five states in the growth of self-employed
The District of Columbia led the nation in receipts with a gain
of 15.5 percent (See Table 1 Excel | PDF).
Among the nations most populous counties, Los Angeles
County, Calif., had 799,108 nonemployer businesses, with Cook
County, Ill., second at 380,457. Miami-Dade, Fla., followed
Counties with increases in nonemployer business growth included
Orange County, Fla. (9.4 percent); Clark County, Nev. (9 percent);
Miami-Dade (8.6 percent); Tarrant County, Texas (8.4 percent);
Gwinnett, Ga. (8.4 percent); and Hillsborough, Fla., and Mecklenburg,
N.C. (both at 8.3 percent) (See Table 2 Excel | PDF).
The detailed Internet tables show the number of establishments
in nearly 300 industries and their receipts for the nation,
states, counties and metropolitan areas. The data do not cover
all self-employed individuals, since many self-employed business
owners have paid employees.
The Census Bureau numbers may be understated because areas devastated
by Hurricane Katrina were granted additional time by the Internal
Revenue Service to file 2005 tax returns.