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Small business

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Small businesses on Dalrymple Street in Greenock, Scotland

A small business, sometimes called a mom and pop store by some in the United States, is a business that is privately owned and operated. They have a small number of employees and do not sell many things. Whether or not the law says that a business is "small" is different in different countries and industries.

  • The Australian Fair Work Act 2009 says that a small business is a business with less than 15 employees.
  • In the European Union, to be called "small", a business must have fewer than 50 employees.[1]
  • In the United States, a business must have fewer than 500 employees to qualify for some Small Business Administration programs.[1]
  • In India businesses with fewer than ten employees are in the "Unorganised sector".

Small businesses are common in many countries. Some examples include: convenience stores, other small shops (such as a bakery), hairdressers, tradesmen, lawyers, accountants, restaurants, guest houses, photographers, small-scale manufacturing, and online business, such as web design and programming.

Good things about small business

A small business can be started at a very low cost. It also does not need to be open all the time.

Independence is another good thing about owning a small business. Being able to operate by themselves is a good thing for small business owners.[2] Small business owners can make their own decisions about what they want to do with their company.[3] However, entrepreneurs often must work very long hours and understand that their customers are their bosses.

Many organizations in the United States also give help to small businesses, such as the Internal Revenue Service's Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource.[4]

Problems for small businesses

Small businesses often face a lot of problems because of their size.

In the United States, some of the largest concerns of small business owners are insurance costs, high energy costs and taxes.[5]

Another problem for several small businesses is the fact that much larger businesses can influence their chances for success.


  1. Small Business Administration. Size Standards. See Summary of Size Standards by Industry.
  2. "Business Strategy Templates". Power Slides. 2012-08-12. Retrieved 2012-09-10. 
  3. Longenecker, Justin G.; Carlos W. Moore, J. William Petty, Leslie E. Palich (2008). Small business management : launching and growing entrepreneurial ventures. (14th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 768. ISBN 0324569726 . OCLC 191487420 . 
  4. "Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource". 2010-10-25. Retrieved 2010-11-13. 
  5. "Surveying Businesses on Tax Compliance Costs". Retrieved 2011-10-17.