Less than 25% of America’s businesses have paid employees.

“The majority of all business establishments in the United States are nonemployers, yet these nonemployer establishments average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally.”

“Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating a very small unincorporated business, which may or may not be the owner’s principal source of income.”

Here’s a handy chart of how the nonemployers are distributed by industry.


“The three states with the largest percentage of nonemployer establishments are Texas (79.5 percent), Georgia (79.4 percent) and Florida (79.0 percent). North Dakota is the only state where more than 30 percent of the establishments have paid employees.”

Interesting what the surrounding context is for self-employment these days.

Excerpts and chart from the census, here.


5 thoughts on “Less than 25% of America’s businesses have paid employees.

  1. One problem with the data is that many LLC & LP are not traditional businesses with serious employees but merely financial vehicles for asset protection, capital movement, or other things. Even if they have “employees” this is often just accounting gamesmanship for some other motive. Had attorneys advise how everyone should have at lest two LLCs or more; I agree, but it probably does mess the stats like this up…


    • Yep. One of our rental properties is legally owned by our LLC. We will probably move each of the houses into a different LLC over time to minimize taxes and potential liability. No employees of course.


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