Small Business, Definition(s) of

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“The Office of Advocacy defines a small business for research purposes as an independent business having fewer than 500 employees” (U.S. Small Business Administration, n.d.).

“The Small Business Act states that a small business concern is ‘one that is independently owned and operated and which is not dominant in its field of operation.’ The law also states that in determining what constitutes a small business, the definition will vary from industry to industry to reflect industry differences accurately. SBA's Small Business Size Regulations implement the Small Business Act's mandate to SBA. SBA has also established a table of size standards, matched to North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries (U.S. Small Business Administration, n.d.)”

“An organization that is small in relation to the potential market size, managed by its owners, and not part of a larger organization. There is no single official definition of what constitutes a small business. A standard definition for the size of small business is one having fewer than 100 employees (BNET Business Directory, n.d.).

While there is no universal definition of what constitutes a small business, approximately 80% of U.S. businesses have fewer than 20 employees (U.S. Census Bureau, 2004).

Glossary Source: 

U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy. (n.d.). FAQ’s: Advocacy small business statistics and research. Retrieved from

U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy. (n.d.).What is small business. Retrieved from

Small business. (n.d.). In BNET business directory. Retrieved from

U.S. Census Bureau. (2004). Statistics about business size (including small business) from the U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from