Small Business 101


Small businesses contribute significantly to local economies and stimulate economic development, offering their products and services directly to consumers.

Small businesses vary considerably in definition and impact depending on factors like government regulations and loan programs; as a result, general advice about small businesses should be treated with caution.


Small businesses face unique operational issues compared to their large counterparts, primarily size. If a business qualifies as small, certain advantages from the government, such as being eligible to bid on contracts designated for small firms, and tax advantages like lower payroll taxes may become available.

The Small Business Administration establishes industry-specific size standards. While exact parameters vary by industry, generally speaking, a company with less than 30 employees and annual revenues under certain thresholds would qualify as small.

This definition can be disappointing as it prevents certain businesses from being eligible for government contracts or tax breaks. For instance, a printing and writing paper merchant wholesaler might qualify as minor according to employee count but may not because its revenue exceeds this threshold.


Companies must adhere to size standards the Small Business Administration sets to qualify as small businesses. These vary based on the industry but typically involve factors like employee counts or annual revenues as criteria for classification as such. Classifying themselves as such allows businesses to take advantage of government grant programs more readily.

Small businesses face different tax rates from more giant corporations. C corporations must pay a flat 21 percent federal income tax rate on profits. In contrast, small non-corps (non-corps) (which don’t issue stock shares) are taxed based on reported net income. This amount can be calculated manually using an income tax calculator or comprehensive accounting and payroll software such as FreshBooks.

Small businesses also enjoy taking advantage of business tax deductions available through the IRS website to help reduce tax liability and liabilities.

Employee Benefits

Small businesses face unique operational issues compared to their larger counterparts. For instance, they often have limited access to capital and limited marketing budgets, finding it harder to compete for government contracts set aside expressly for them and experiencing various structural issues affecting their capabilities and liabilities.

Offering attractive employee benefits is critical for small businesses looking to attract and retain talents, such as health-related perks such as dental and vision insurance, flexible spending accounts, and long-term savings plans such as 401(k).

Employee benefits for small-business owners can range from basic pay raises and stock options as compensation to employees for years of service to be on board from the beginning with new companies – these options often prove more valuable to employees than traditional raises. While employee benefits may seem expensive at first glance, there are ways they can be kept within your budget.

Business Structure

Business structures create a separate entity from its owner, enable the business to open bank accounts, enter contracts on its own, and provide personal liability protection. Therefore, small businesses must select and register an appropriate structure with their state governments.

There are various kinds of small businesses, each offering different advantages and disadvantages. Deciding upon an optimal structure for your enterprise requires professional advice.

Some small business owners opt to form their company as a sole proprietorship, the most prevalent form of small business structure. It’s easy to set up this type of entity, and its owner pays taxes on all income directly through his or her tax return. Other entrepreneurs choose limited partnerships that enable them to share ownership while limiting financial and legal liabilities; or establish benefit corporations, which seek both social impact and profits for shareholders.