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 becomes a small business.

Delaware is a notoriously beautiful state, boasting many incredible places, which in turn, attracts a wealth of tourism each year.

Not only is tourism increasing at a speedy rate within the state, but also people deciding to call Delaware their new place of work and business, and with the pro-business incentives and high quality of life, you can see why so many make their move to the state.

The First State has always been considered to a huge contributor to the United States’ powerhouse of an economy and is continually strengthening too.

Over the past several years, Delaware is considered to be a great state for business (large or small), and this is due to the government’s pro-business approach, a consistently growing state economy, a fantastic education system, big labor market, and the lifestyle you, your business, and your employees deserve.

Number of Small Businesses in Delaware

So, how many small businesses are there in Delaware? There are 84,675 small businesses in the state, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Delawareans starting small businesses in Delaware; the state also attracts foreign entrepreneurs and investors. There are 7,944 immigrant entrepreneurs in Delaware that account for 16% of all self-employed Delaware residents.

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

How many small businesses in Delaware

Of the 84,675 small businesses in Delaware 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 84,000-plus small businesses in Delaware, it is fairly easy to register a business in Delaware.

To be a small business in Delaware, 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 Delaware by looking at the top industries, business owners, employees, and more!

Small Businesses in Delaware 2020 overview

  • Small businesses equate to over 98.4% of all businesses in Delaware.
  • There are 187,221 small business employees in Delaware, which is 46.7% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Delaware added 4,776 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20-99 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 11,994 self-employed minorities in Delaware demonstrating diversity in the state.
  • International trade is a part of Delaware’s economy, and there are 1,909 small business exporters in Delaware.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Delaware than any other type – 12,032.
  • Real Estate and Rental Leasing firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Delaware – 10,931.

Top 5 small business industries in Delaware

How Many Small Businesses in Delaware?

Over 84,000 is a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state, but when you look at the size of the First State, its economic growth, and its influence on business, it is not hard to see why many have chosen Delaware. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Delaware is 0.27% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Delaware has been growing over the past several years. In 2017 there were 77,306, which increased to 79,417 in 2018, representing a 2.73% increase. In 2019 there were 82,121 small businesses, 2,704 more than the state had in 2018, representing a 3.40% increase.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Delaware rose again, to 84,675. This is the second-largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (3.11%) and demonstrates why Delaware has such a stable and consistently growing economy.

Delaware 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 many consumer markets, international access by land, sea, and air, decent infrastructure, an evergrowing and stable economy, expanding labor market, a brilliant education system (41.5% college-educated), 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 Delaware from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, the full Profile can be downloaded here.