Small Business Revenue Statistics | altLINE (2024)

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1 Small Businesses Make Up 99.9% of All US Businesses

2 The Average Small Business Owner Salary Is $69,301

3 The Average Annual Revenue for US Nonemployer Establishments Is $49,489

4 78% of US Nonemployer Establishments Make Less than $50,000 In Annual Revenue

5 Women-Owned Businesses Make 44% Less Revenue Than Male-Owned Businesses

6 On Average, Small Businesses Are Paid 1 – 2 Weeks After the Invoice Due Date

7 Cash Flow Is the Number One Reason Why Small Businesses Fail

8 What Do These Small Business Revenue Statistics Mean for You?

Last Updated January 9, 2024

Small businesses play a critical role in our local and global economies, but it can be difficult to make informed business decisions without having benchmarks or statistics to base your decisions on. We have put together some key small business revenue statistics to give small business owners an idea of how their companies stack up against national averages and trends.

Small Businesses Make Up 99.9% of All US Businesses

With 33.2 million small businesses in the United States, SMBs are the backbone of the our economy, making up 99.9% of all US businesses. Additionally, the number of small businesses (both employer and nonemployer firms) has increased over the last few years, and small businesses have even been responsible for 62.7% of net new job creation since 1995 ( Amongst these small businesses, 80% of them are nonemployer firms, meaning they do not have any paid employees (

The Average Small Business Owner Salary Is $69,301

According to PayScale, the average small business owner takes home a salary of $69,301 per year. The highest pay recorded for small business owners is $135,000, and the lowest pay is $30,000.

However, there is quite a bit of variance from source to source regarding small business owner salary statistics. For example, Zippia reports that the average business owner salary is $50,934 per year, while Comparably reports the average small business owner makes $97,761 per year. Even still, Fundera found that 30% of small business owners don’t take a salary at all, and 86% take a salary of less than $100,000.

The Average Annual Revenue for US Nonemployer Establishments Is $49,489

A nonemployer establishment is a business that has no paid employees and makes more than $1,000 per year in revenue. Based on data from, the average revenue for a US nonemployer establishment was just under $50,000 in 2019, up 1.38% from 2018.

Small Business Revenue Statistics | altLINE (1)

Additionally, there is quite a bit of variation in the average revenue of establishments by industry. For example, businesses in the real estate, rental, and leasing industry bring in 106% more revenue, on average, compared to the cross-overall nonemployer average. Other higher earning industries include wholesale trade (+97%) and finance/insurance (+71%).

There are more industries that earn below the overall average than those that earn above it. The lowest earning industries include educational services (-70%), administrative, support, waste management, and remediation services (-51%), and arts, entertainment, and recreation (-44%).

Industry Average Revenue Compared to the Overall Nonemployer Average
Real estate, rental, and leasing $102,040 +106.2%
Wholesale trade $97,685 +97.4%
Finance and insurance $84,664 +71.1%
Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction $68,949 +39.3%
Utilities $68,796 +39.0%
Construction $65,051 +31.4%
Manufacturing $54,083 +9.3%
Professional, scientific, and technical $49,077 -0.8%
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting $47,742 -3.5%
Retail trade $44,826 -9.4%
Transportation and warehousing $43,671 -11.8%
Information $40,170 -18.8%
Accommodation and food services $39,171 -20.9%
Health care and social assistance $35,786 -27.7%
Other services (except public administration) $31,886 -35.6%
Arts, entertainment, and recreation $27,506 -44.4%
Administrative, support, waste management, and remediation services $24,132 -51.2%
Educational services $15,110 -69.5%

78% of US Nonemployer Establishments Make Less than $50,000 In Annual Revenue

Even though the average nonemployer revenue is $49,489, more than three fourths of nonemployer establishments make less than $50,000 per year (

However, there is still an opportunity to bring in quite a bit of revenue as a nonemployer business; 1.3% of nonemployers bring in more than $500,000, and 0.2% bring in more than $1 million per year.

Annual Revenue Number of Establishments Percent of Establishments
> $1,000,000 45,953 0.2%
> $500,000 358,375 1.3%
> $250,000 1,052,664 3.9%
> $100,000 3,201,418 11.8%
> $50,000 6,064,822 22.4%
< $50,000 21,039,184 77.7%
TOTAL ESTABLISHMENTS 27,104,006 100.0%

When breaking down the nonemployer average revenue by entity type, we found that sole proprietorships make $35,897, on average, which is 28% less than the overall nonemployer average. On the flipside, S-corporations, partnerships, C-corporations, and other corporate legal forms of organization each make more than $100,000 in revenue, on average, per year.

Women-Owned Businesses Make 44% Less Revenue Than Male-Owned Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses owned by women earned, on average, 30% less revenue in 2021 compared to men-owned businesses ($263,091 vs. $469,372). According to Biz2Credit, despite there being a significant lack of parity in key financial metrics between women and men-owned businesses, women-owned businesses saw stronger year-over-year growth in average earnings (annual revenue – operating expenses) with a 27% YoY growth compared to 22% growth. Despite this growth, average earnings for women-owned businesses was still 47% less than for men-owned businesses.

Small Business Revenue Statistics | altLINE (2)

According to CNBC, “The male advantage can be attributed to the fact that they have been in business longer, and these entrepreneurs have had time to develop strong networks in industries like IT, construction and logistics.” While men-owned businesses continue to outpace women-owned business performance, economists believe that parity could be just a few years off.

On Average, Small Businesses Are Paid 1 – 2 Weeks After the Invoice Due Date

Late invoice payments can be detrimental to small businesses, and according to Chaser, small businesses are paid more often than not after the invoice due date. Solo business owners are most likely to get paid prior to the invoice due date, while companies between 2 and 50 people are least likely to get paid on time amongst small businesses.

Small Business Revenue Statistics | altLINE (3)

So how do these late invoice payments impact revenue? According to QuickBooks, businesses under 500 people were owed, on average, $304,066 in late payments. Not only that but late invoice payments resulted in 89% of small and medium-sized businesses to say that they prevented business growth.

Cash Flow Is the Number One Reason Why Small Businesses Fail

Small business survival rates are always a point of interest when starting a new business. According to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, 68% of small businesses survive their first two years, and nearly half survive for at least five years. However, survival rates drop off pretty drastically once businesses reach the decade mark with only 34% surviving at least 10 years and 26% surviving at least 15 years.

The primary reason new businesses fail? 82% of startups cite cash flow problems as the reason for closing (Visual Capitalist). While this can sound intimidating, there are plenty of ways to combat cash flow issues, including:

  • Collecting invoice payments as quickly as possible and paying vendors as slowly as possible
  • Doing credit checks on your customers to ensure they are creditworthy and increase the likelihood of on-time payments
  • Increase working capital through an alternative financing method, such as invoice factoring or invoice financing
  • Lease equipment instead of purchasing it outright
  • Offer early payment discounts

For more ways to improve cash flow, check out our article.

What Do These Small Business Revenue Statistics Mean for You?

These small business revenue statistics may make starting a company sound daunting, but they are important to review to help you make solid business and financial planning decisions. Starting a business is hard work and modest earnings may deter you, but becoming an entrepreneur can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Now that you are equipped with industry benchmarks and nationwide trends, you are better prepared to enter the entrepreneurial market.

Below are some resources that can help you get started with your small business:

  • Ways to Fund a Business Without a Loan
  • Cash Flow Risk Management and How to Reduce It
  • Cash Flow Management for Small Businesses
  • How to Do a Budget Analysis for Your Business

Angela Petulla

Angela is the Director of Online Marketing at altLINE where she manages content production, marketing and sales operations, and digital PR. Angela joined altLINE in 2022 after several years of working in digital marketing across various industries including financial services and B2B. Angela loves creating content that helps readers better understand their financing options and helps them make informed decisions about factoring. Her work has been featured in publications like Search Engine Journal and Moz.

Small Business Revenue Statistics | altLINE (2024)


What is the average revenue for a small business? ›

In general, the average revenue is around $44,000 per year for a company with a single owner/employee. Two-thirds of these small businesses make less than $25,000 per year. Most of these businesses are based out of the home.

What percentage of revenue should a small business owner make? ›

According to the SBA, most small business owners limit their salaries to 50% of their profits. That means if your business earns $100,000, your income should not exceed $50,000. For some business owners, the higher your company's profits, the higher your personal income.

What are the statistics on small business success? ›

Over half of all small businesses fail in the first five years. Over 50% of small businesses will fail before their fifth consecutive year of operating. Only 30% go on to survive their 10th year in business. According to trends by the U.S. Bureau of Statistics, these failure rates have remained consistent for decades.

How many companies have $5 million in revenue? ›

To determine how many of this total make more than $5 million in revenue, I looked for tabulations of revenue data and found that while 327,589 companies reach this number, more than 1.6 million other companies have no revenue data reported in this manner.

How much is a business worth with $1 million in sales? ›

The Revenue Multiple (times revenue) Method

A venture that earns $1 million per year in revenue, for example, could have a multiple of 2 or 3 applied to it, resulting in a $2 or $3 million valuation. Another business might earn just $500,000 per year and earn a multiple of 0.5, yielding a valuation of $250,000.

What is a good profit for a small business? ›

What's a good profit margin for a small business? Although profit margin varies by industry, 7 to 10% is a healthy profit margin for most small businesses. Some companies, like retail and food, can be financially stable with lower profit margin because they have naturally high overhead.

How much should the CEO of a small business make? ›

$81,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $121,000 is the 75th percentile.

Should I pay myself a salary from my LLC? ›

There's no need to pay yourself as an employee. If you're a part of a multi-member LLC, you can also pay yourself by taking a draw as long as your LLC is a partnership. If it's an S corporation or C corporation, you and other LLC members will have to be paid as employees.

Should I pay myself a salary from my small business? ›

Setting money aside before paying bills, or spending on other things, could present many benefits for you and your business. Paying yourself a salary can also be an important part of your financial plan, as it provides a steady income stream and helps keep personal and business finances separate.

What year do most small businesses fail? ›

Data from the BLS shows that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.

What is the average lifespan of a small business? ›

Small businesses fail all the time. Gene Marks, author of The Small Business Desk Reference, says their average lifespan is about eight and a half years. According to the Small Business Administration, about 550,000 small businesses close each year.

Why do many small businesses fail? ›

The NFIB concurs, and says that a lack of startup funds—or, being unable to come up with adequate financing—are both common reasons for business failure. “If you lack the cash or assets to start on your own, like most businesses, you will need to borrow,” it says. Poor cash flow.

Do small business owners make a lot of money? ›

A small business owner makes an average of $71,900 in the United States, according to Payscale's 2017 data, ranging from $29,365 to $156,227. Including bonuses, commission and profit sharing, this range becomes $30,039 to $179,299.

How many businesses make a profit in the first year? ›

Most businesses don't make any profit in their first year of business, according to Forbes. In fact, most new businesses need 18 to 24 months to reach profitability. And then there's the reality that 25 percent of new businesses fail in their first year, according to the Small Business Administration.

How much does the average small business make per month? ›

What Is the Average Small Business Owner Salary by State
Annual SalaryMonthly Pay
Top Earners$293,500$24,458
75th Percentile$145,500$12,125
25th Percentile$92,000$7,666

How much profit should a business make in the first year? ›

Most businesses don't make any profit in their first year of business, according to Forbes. In fact, most new businesses need 18 to 24 months to reach profitability.

How many times revenue is a small business worth? ›

The average revenue multiple of businesses sold on BizBuySell is about 0.6 – so the average business sells for around 60% of annual revenue. Going one step further, we can look at revenue multiples for distinct types of business.


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