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June 2007

From the U.S. Census Website

'Lone Wolves' Boost Nonemployer Businesses Past 20 Million

A daily average of 2,356 people went into business for themselves as the nation’s number of businesses without a payroll reached 20.4 million in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.

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 nation’s 26 million-plus firms.

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.

Other highlights:

Georgia 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 business people.
The District of Columbia led the nation in receipts with a gain of 15.5 percent (See Table 1 Excel | PDF).
Among the nation’s most populous counties, Los Angeles County, Calif., had 799,108 nonemployer businesses, with Cook County, Ill., second at 380,457. Miami-Dade, Fla., followed at 296,456.
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.






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