Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and have been for hundreds of years. Most businesses that are started begin with a dream, someone’s lifelong ambition to do something they are passionate about, which then turns into a small business.

Louisiana certainly is no stranger to small businesses, with a huge number of small businesses registered within the state, however, this doesn’t mean that the state is an easy environment for them to thrive in, but with big challenges come big rewards!

The Pelican State certainly contributes the America’s enormous economy, with the state’s GDP being around the 25th highest in the U.S. Not necessarily known for its economic stability and business climate, Louisiana has been making a conscious effort to boost the economy and small business environment by providing support and advice when it comes to small businesses registering and thriving within the state. There is still a ways to go, but the state is certainly moving in the right direction.

Number of Small Businesses in Louisiana

So, how many small businesses are there in Louisiana? There are 457,636 small businesses in Louisiana, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and Louisianans starting small businesses in Louisiana; the state is a relatively large attraction for international entrepreneurs and foreign-born people. There are 23,310 immigrant entrepreneurs in Louisiana that account for 10% of all self-employed Louisiana residents.

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

How many small businesses are there in Louisiana

Of the 457,636 small businesses in Louisiana 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 457,000-plus small businesses in Louisiana, it is fairly easy to register a business in Louisiana.

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

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

Latest Small Businesses Statistics in Louisiana

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.5% of all businesses in Louisiana.
  • There are 905,147 small business employees in Louisiana, which is 53.6% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Louisiana added 8,760 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20-99 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 64,735 self-employed minorities in Louisiana demonstrating the diversity in the state.
  • International trade in Louisiana is fairly strong, which is demonstrated by the 3,213 small business exporters.
  • There are more professional, scientific & technical services small businesses in Louisiana than any other type – 51,613.
  • Construction firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Louisiana – 46,871.

Top 5 small business industries in Louisiana

How Many Small Businesses in Louisiana?

Over 457,000 is a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Louisiana is 1.44% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

The number of small businesses in Louisiana has been growing over the past several years. In 2017 there were 436,867 small businesses, which increased to 437,437 in 2018, representing a 0.13% increase. In 2019 there were 447,440 small businesses which were 10,003 more than the state had in 2018, representing a 2.28% increase.

From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Louisiana rose again, to 457,636. This is the second-largest increase in percentage terms over the past five years (2.27%) and demonstrates Louisiana’s strong economy.

Over recent years, Louisiana has been trying to offer employers, employees, companies, and entrepreneurs more. You can see that the number of small businesses increases as the years go by, which is perhaps unlocked by the latest support centers, advisories, and professional small business free support provided.

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