Small businesses have been the backbone of the United States’ thriving economy for decades. Most businesses that are started begin with a dream, someone’s lifelong ambition, which then turns into a small business.

Colorado boasts some of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire nation, which in return, attracts an abundance of tourism each year. Not only is tourism increasing rapidly within the state, but also people deciding to relocate there too, with many choosing Colorado over other states to move an existing business or start a new one due to numerous pro-business and quality of life incentives.

The Centennial State is considered to be one of America’s strong economic powerhouses, and it is continually strengthening. Over the past several years, Colorado has been consistently voted as one of the best states for business due to the government’s pro-business approach, a constantly growing economy, booming labor market, supportive communities, manageable business taxation, minimal business regulations, and the natural beauty and outdoor lifestyle everybody desires.

Number of Small Businesses in Colorado

So, how many small businesses are there in Colorado? There are 653,639 small businesses in the state, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Coloradans starting small businesses in Colorado; the state also attracts a lot of foreign entrepreneurs and investors. There are 42,844 immigrant entrepreneurs in Colorado that account for 12% of all self-employed Colorado residents.

The following bar graph shows the number of small businesses in Colorado in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

How many small businesses in Colorado

Of the 653,639 small businesses in Colorado in 2020, there is a wide array of different enterprises from small, one-person sole proprietorships or LLCs to much larger businesses with several hundred employees. If you want to join the 653,000-plus small businesses in Colorado, it is fairly easy to register a business in Colorado.

To be a small business in Colorado, you have to qualify as one. So, to operate as a small business you must have a company with less than 500 employees.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the number of small businesses in Colorado by looking at the top industries, business owners, employees, and more!

Small Businesses in Colorado 2020 overview

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.5% of all businesses in Colorado.
  • There are 1,140,757 small business employees in Colorado, which is 48.1% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Colorado added 33,618 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20 or fewer employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 72,132 self-employed minorities in Colorado demonstrating the diversity in the state.
  • International trade is a part of Colorado’s economy, and there are 5,105 small business exporters in Colorado.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Colorado than any other type – 112,922.
  • Real Estate and Rental Leasing firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Colorado – 75,584.

Top 5 small business industries in Colorado

How Many Small Businesses in Colorado?

Over 650,000 is a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state, but when you look at the size of the Cenntenial State, its economic growth, and influence on business, it is not hard to see why so many have chosen Colorado. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Colorado is 2.06% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Colorado has been growing over the past several years. In 2017 there were 596,210, which increased to 611,495 in 2018, representing a 2.56% increase. In 2019 there were 630,113 small businesses, 18,618 more than the state had in 2018, representing a 3.04% increase.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Colorado rose again, to 653,639. This is the second-largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (3.73%) and demonstrates why Colorado has such a strong and growing economy.

Colorado has an awful lot to offer employers and employees, and companies and entrepreneurs from all over the world continue to move to the state.

It has a manageable taxation system, low business regulations, access to large consumer markets, international access by land, and air, world-class infrastructure, an extremely strong and evergrowing economy, expanding labor market, brilliant education system, and the quality of life that is hard to come by anywhere else in the nation.

If you would like to download the latest 2020 Small Business Profile on Colorado from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, the full Profile can be downloaded here.