A Small Business is a privately owned company that is defined as “small” by various government standard.  Small businesses can be corporations, partnerships, or a sole proprietorship. According to wikipedia, “Small businesses range from fifteen employees under the Australian Fair Work Act 2009, fifty employees according to the definition used by the European Union, and fewer than five thousand employees, to qualify for many U.S. Small Business Administration programs. ”

There is no set standard for a small business with qualifications including employee size, annual revenue and assets.  These qualifying factors can change from industry to industry and country to country.  The most widely used measure for small business qualification is amount of employees, but even that is not always standard, particularly, for those companies earning large amounts of sales.

Small business certifications also vary widely between industries with some small businesses, such as a home accounting, only requiring a business license while others such as restaurants requiring inspection and certification from various government authorities.

Small businesses are generally advocated for by a national government entity, such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) for the United States.  These government organizations set the rules and regulations for all small firms operating within the country and can be contacted to learn more about small business qualifications based on industry.

If you’re curious about small business standards for the United States, check out the Table of Small Business Size Standards



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