Ohio is undoubtedly no stranger to small businesses and they make up a large proportion of the overall businesses in the state. Ohio is known for its reputable universities, brilliant community support, and an ever-growing tech industry.

The Buckeye State is a great contributor to the U.S. economy. Over the past few years especially, Ohio has been providing extra support for its small businesses via resources and development centers in order for them to thrive and succeed, which has had a direct correlation with the state’s ongoing economic growth too.

Number of Small Businesses in Ohio in 2021

So, how many small businesses are there in Ohio? There are 982,035 small businesses in Ohio, according to the latest figures (2021) from the SBA.

It is not just Americans and locals starting small businesses in Ohio. The state is an attraction for international entrepreneurs and foreign-born people. It is home to a number of immigrant entrepreneurs that have decided to call Ohio their place of business.

There are 30,432 immigrant entrepreneurs in Ohio that account for 6% of all self-employed Ohio residents.

The following graph shows the number of small businesses in Ohio in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, and also illustrates the percentage increase (or decrease) each year.

Small businesses in Ohio

Of the 982,035 small businesses in Ohio in 2021, 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 982,000-plus small businesses in Ohio, it is fairly easy to register a business in Ohio.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the number of small businesses in Ohio in 2021 by looking at the top industries, small business owners, employees, and more!

Latest Small Businesses Statistics in Ohio in 2021

  • Small businesses equate to over 99.6% of all businesses in the state.
  • There are 2.2 million small business employees in Ohio, which is 44.6% of the states’ employees.
  • International trade in Ohio is very strong and there are 16,343 small business exporters.
  • There are more professional scientific firm small businesses in Ohio than any other type – 123,879.
  • Construction Firms make up the 2nd largest number of small businesses in Ohio – 111,431.

Top 5 small business industries

How Many Small Businesses in Ohio in 2021?

Over 982,000 is a huge amount of small businesses to be registered in a state. Compared to the rest of the U.S., the total number of small businesses in Ohio is 3% of all U.S. businesses. There are 32.5 million small businesses in the U.S.

Ohio Small Business Growth Over The Past Several Years

  • In 2018 there were 944,797 small businesses, which increased to 949,479 in 2019 (0.49% increase).
  • The number of small businesses in Ohio in 2020 was 965,576. This was 16,097 more than the state had in 2019 (1.69% increase).
  • In 2021 the number of small businesses in Ohio increased by 16,459 to 982,035 (1.7% increase).

Ohio offers a tremendous amount of support to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world, due to an abundance of different pro-business factors, with the more notable being the fantastic community support for small businesses, reasonable cost of living, inexpensive cost of doing business and manageable taxation rates for businesses.

If you would like to download the latest 2021 Small Business Profile on Ohio from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, the Profile can be downloaded here. For your convenience, we have created a table below showing you the number of small businesses in Ohio over the past several years.

Small Businesses in Ohio from 2017 – 2021

StateNumber of Small BusinessesYearIncrease or Decrease% Increase or Decrease
Small Businesses in Ohio in 2021982,035202116,4591.7%
Small Businesses in Ohio in 2020965,576202016,0971.69%
Small Businesses in Ohio in 2019949,47920194,6820.49%
Small Businesses in Ohio in 2018944,79720185,4800.58%
Small Businesses in Ohio in 2017939,317201700%