Small businesses have been the backbone of the United States’ booming economy for a number of years. Most of them start with a dream, a lifelong ambition of an aspiring entrepreneur that wants to do something they are passionate about. This often turns into a small business.

Missouri is no stranger to small businesses, in fact, many have labeled the state as “a state of small business”, and as one of the best and most up and coming states to begin your entrepreneurial journey. This is despite the number of small businesses receding slightly between 2019 and 2020.

The Show-Me State is a consistent contributor to the collosol U.S. economy. Over the past few years, Missouri has been proving its business friendliness and strong economic climate in more ways than one.

It has been rated as having the best State Economic Development Agency and is the best state for banking. It also has a highly skilled (and large) workforce and exceptional transportation and infrastructure system.

Number of Small Businesses in Missouri

So, how many small businesses are there in Missouri? There are 530,380 small businesses in Missouri, according to the latest figures (2020) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and locals starting small businesses in Missouri. The state, although not a huge attraction for international entrepreneurs and foreign-born people, still has a significant number of immigrant entrepreneurs that have decided to call Missouri their place of business.

There are 14,795 immigrant entrepreneurs in Missouri that account for 5% of all self-employed Missouri residents.

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

How many small businesses in Missouri

Of the 530,380 small businesses in Missouri 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 530,000-plus small businesses in Missouri, it is fairly easy to register a business in Missouri.

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

Latest Small Businesses Statistics in Missouri

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.4% of all businesses in the state.
  • There are 1,163,782 small business employees in Missouri, which is 46.2% of the states’ employees.
  • In 2019, Small Businesses in Missouri added 13,855 new jobs!
  • Small businesses employing 20-99 employees created the most job gains!
  • There are 37,621 self-employed minorities in the state demonstrating the diversity in Missouri.
  • International trade in Missouri is quite strong and there are 5,283 small business exporters.
  • Missouri’s three Foreign Trade Zones in Springfield, St. Louis, Kansas City help connect Missouri businesses to international markets.
  • There are more construction firm small businesses in Missouri than any other type – 64,172.
  • Professional scientific and technical services make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Missouri – 60,043.

Top 5 small business industries in Missouri

How Many Small Businesses in Missouri?

Over 530,380 is a lot of small businesses to be registered in a state that isn’t exactly well known for having a large population size (19th most populous). Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Missouri is 1.67% of all U.S. businesses. There are 31.7 million small businesses in the U.S.

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

  • In 2017 there were 515,227 small businesses, which increased to 523,459 in 2018 (1.59% increase).
  • In 2019 there were 532,277 small businesses which was 8,818 more than the state had in 2018 (1.68% increase).
  • 2020 was a strange year for small businesses in Missouri, as the number decreased from the previous year by 1,897. However, the state is still considered to be the perfect place for small businesses, and the decrease was only by 0.35%, so there isn’t too much concern.

Missouri offers plenty to small businesses and aspiring small business owners from all over the world, this is due to many different factors, with the more notable being low corporate income tax, easy access to huge consumer markets, the 2nd fastest average internet download speed in the U.S., a low cost of living, a highly-skilled and very large workforce, and a collaborative environment for small businesses in any industry.

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