How Many Small Businesses are there in Hawaii?

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

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.

Hawaii is a state usually associated with vacation, relaxation, beautiful beaches, and stunning landscapes, which attracts a great deal of tourism each year.

However, it isn’t just tourism that is increasingly becoming more popular within the state, but also people deciding to call Hawaii their new place of work or setting up a new business. Hawaii offers some pro-business incentives and an awesome quality of life that is very laid-back, so you can understand why thousands of people move to the state each year.

The Aloha State has always been considered a massive contributor to the United States’ huge economy and it is continuously strengthening at an exponential rate.

Over the past several years, Hawaii has been considered a brilliant place 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’ desire, and deserve.

Number of Small Businesses in Hawaii

So, how many small businesses are there in Hawaii? There are 135,567 small businesses in the state, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Hawaiians starting small businesses in Hawaii; the state also attracts foreign entrepreneurs and investors. There are 21,250 immigrant entrepreneurs in Hawaii that account for 26% of all self-employed Hawaii residents.

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

How many small busineses in Hawaii

Of the 135,567 small businesses in Hawaii 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 135,000-plus small businesses in Hawaii, it is fairly easy to register a business in Hawaii.

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

Small Businesses in Hawaii 2020 overview

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.3% of all businesses in Hawaii.
  • There are 275,908 small business employees in Hawaii, which is 50.7% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Hawaii added 365 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20-99 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 53,064 self-employed minorities in Hawaii demonstrating diversity in the state.
  • International trade is a part of Hawaii’s economy, and there are 684 small business exporters in Hawaii.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Hawaii than any other type – 18,474.
  • Real Estate and Rental Leasing firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Hawaii – 14,400.

Top 5 small business industries in Hawaii

How Many Small Businesses in Hawaii?

Over 135,000 are a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state. Compared to the rest of the U.S., it represents 0.42% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Hawaii has been growing over the past several years.

  • In 2017 there were 126,600 small businesses, which increased to 128,863 in 2018 (1.78% increase).
  • In 2019 there were 132,640 small businesses which were 3,777 more than the state had in 2018 (2.93% increase).
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Hawaii rose again, to 135,562. This is the third-largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (2.2%) and demonstrates Hawaii’s stable and consistently growing economy.

Hawaii 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 low taxation system, low business regulations, international access by sea and air, solid infrastructure, a stable and ever-growing economy, expanding labor market, a fantastic education system (44.3% college-educated), the best natural environment in the nation, the best health care system in the nation too, and the quality of life that is incredibly hard to find anywhere else in the nation.

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

Small Businesses in the US


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Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,360 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.