The United States has always been regarded as the land of opportunity. Small businesses have been the backbone of the U.S. economy for many years. Most businesses that are started begin with a dream, someone’s lifelong ambition, which then transitions into a small business.

Georgia is no stranger to small businesses; in fact, it ranks 6th in the U.S. for the most number of small businesses in the state.

The Peach State has one of the top economic and business climates in the U.S. For several years Georgia has been constantly voted as one of the top states to start or operate a business. Many believe this is due to the government’s pro-business approach, the state being one of the best for job creation, access to some of the largest consumer markets, a brilliant education system, skilled workforce, and high quality of life.

Number of Small Businesses in Georgia

So, how many small businesses are there in Georgia? There are 1,091,434 (1.1 million) small businesses in Georgia, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Georgians starting small businesses in Georgia; the state is a hotbed for international entrepreneurs too. There were 88,290  immigrant entrepreneurs in Georgia in 2018 that account for 17% of all self-employed Georgia residents.

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

How many small businesses in Georgia

Of the 1,091,434 small businesses in Georgia 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 1.1 million-plus small businesses in Georgia, it is fairly easy to register a business in Georgia.

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

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

Small Businesses in Georgia 2020 overview

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.6% of all businesses in Georgia.
  • There are 1,677,662 small business employees in Georgia, which is 43.1% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Georgia added 64,905 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20 to 99 employees have the largest share of small business employment in Georgia.
  • There are 202,769 self-employed minorities in Georgia demonstrating tremendous diversity in the state.
  • International trade is huge for many businesses, and there are 13,195 small business exporters in Georgia.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Georgia than any other type – 136,040.
  • Construction firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Georgia – there are 117,276 of them!
  • Administrative, Support & Waste Management firms are the 3rd largest sector of small businesses in the state of Georgia. Real Estate & Rental and Leasing firms come in 4th, and Retail Trade firms have the 5th highest number of small businesses.

Top 5 small business industries in Georgia

How Many Small Businesses in Georgia?

Over 1.1 million is a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state, but after all, it is Georgia we are talking about – a state known for its ambition and constantly driving forward despite whatever obstacles are put in the way. Compared with the rest of the United States, the total number of small businesses in Georgia is 3.4% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Georgia has been growing over the past several years. In 2017 there were 1,016,458 small businesses, which increased to 1,041,515 in 2018, representing a 2.46% increase. In 2019 there were 1,051,071 small businesses in Georgia, 9,556 more than the state had in 2018, representing a smaller 0.91% increase.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Georgia rose again, to 1,091,434. This is the largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (3.84%) and demonstrates why Georgia’s economy is so strong, ranking 9th out of all 50 states.

We hope this information is useful for those interested in starting a company in Georgia, marketing your company to other small businesses in the Peach State, or for those looking at ways to expand your business in the state.

Georgia has an abundance of incredible incentives to offer employers and employees. Companies and entrepreneurs from all over the world continue to flock to the state due to its enormous civilian workforce of over 5 million, international access by land, sea, and air, world-class infrastructure, a healthy import/export market, the busiest airport in the world in Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport, strong population and job growth, a brilliant education system, and a highly-skilled workforce.

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