How many new businesses are started in the U.S. each year?

Have we been misled on the number of business startups?

The U.S. Small Business Administration puts the number of startups at less than a million for the entire year. See Figure 4 in this SBA publication that shows multi-year data that ends at 2012. But the number is significantly less than a million in every year reported.

In 2013 DocStoc’ Jason Nazar published a statisic in Forbes that cited their internal research figure of 543,000 PER MONTH and that same figure persists in some business publications today. See this example of a recent citation. I doubt the accuracy of this figure as it continues to be used. It simply seems too high in comparison the the number of working age adults in the U.S.

For example, 543,000 x 12 would be 6,512,000 new businesses each year.

If we have 160,000,000 working age adults in the U.S. that means that 1 in 25 able people started a new business EVERY year. I remain skeptical of that figure.

1 in 160 as indicated by the SBA figure seems like a more reasonable number.


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