The U.S. is undoubtedly considered the land of opportunity. Small businesses have been the backbone of the United States economy for well over a hundred years. Most businesses that are started begin with someone’s ambition and passion, which then quickly turns into a fully-fledged small business.

Massachusetts is no stranger to small businesses, in fact, Massachusetts is often known for its thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, supporting startups from the ground up.

The Bay State is one of the largest contributors to the United States’ colossal economy. It is also home to some of the country’s most prestigious universities. The universities in Massachusetts create top-level talent that graduates to become some of the best employees of small businesses. Their knowledge and talent allow small companies in the Bay state to quickly rise to the top of their respective industries.

Number of Small Businesses in Massachusetts

So, how many small businesses are there in Massachusetts? There are 700,646 small businesses in Massachusetts, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just people living in the state that are starting small businesses in Massachusetts; the state is also attractive to foreigners investing and starting businesses. There were 79,304 immigrant entrepreneurs in Massachusetts in 2018 that accounted for 21% of all self-employed Massachusetts residents.

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

How many small businesses are there in Massachusetts

Of the 700,646 small businesses in Massachusetts in 2020, there is a wide array of different enterprises from small, one-person sole proprietorships or LLCs to much larger businesses with a hundred or more employees. If you want to join the 700,000+ small businesses in Massachusetts, it is relatively easy to register a business in Massachusetts.

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

Small Businesses Statistics in Massachusetts for 2020

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.5% of all businesses in Massachusetts.
  • There are 1,507,965 small business employees in Massachusetts, which is 45.5% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Massachusetts added 35,232 new jobs.
  • Small businesses employing 20 to 99 employees created the most job gains.
  • There are 62,049 self-employed minorities in Massachusetts demonstrating the diverse nature of the state.
  • International trade is important to a sector of businesses, and there are 9,256 small business exporters in Massachusetts.
  • There are more professional, scientific, and technical services that are small businesses in Massachusetts than any other type – 121,612.
  • Construction firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Massachusetts – 75,141.

Top 5 small business industries in Massachusetts

How Many Small Businesses in Massachusetts?

Over 700,000 are a lot of small businesses to be registered in any one state. Compared to the rest of the U.S., it represents 2.21% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

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

  • In 2017 there were 639,334 small businesses, which increased to 652,661 in 2018 (2.08% increase).
  • In 2019 there were 669,224 small businesses which were 16,563 more than the state had in 2018 (2.53% increase).
  • From 2019 to 2020, the number of small businesses in Massachusetts rose again, to 700,646, which is evidence as to why Massachusetts’ economic strength has been building exponentially over the past several years.

Massachusetts has so much to offer employers, employees, companies, and entrepreneurs, which is why communities in the state prioritize buying directly from local businesses. This creates a strong network of support that can make all the difference to someone embarking on a new small business venture in the Bay state.

With access to some of the largest consumer markets, many small business resources that are free to use and readily available for everybody, a good labor market, brilliant education system, and thriving tech industry, it is no wonder why so many small business owners decide to call Massachusetts their new home.

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