Survey of Businesses

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Also known as the 1994 Survey of Employer Businesses by Gender Ownership


To provide current data that describe and compare women- and non-women-owned businesses and business financial conditions.  The United States Code, Title 13, authorizes this survey and provides for voluntary responses.  The Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration, partially funded the survey.

The Survey of Businesses was a one-time survey, conducted in 1995 with data for 1994.


Businesses that have employees or payroll; file tax forms for individual proprietorships (Form 1040, Schedule C), partnerships (Form 1065), subchapter S corporations (Form 1120S), or corporations (Form 1120); and are classified in any NAICS industry except farms and ranches, railroads, the postal service, membership organizations, private households, or governments (NAICS 01, 02, 40, 43, 86, 88 or 90-97).


Owners report on gender, business locations, employment and payroll, sales or receipts (by source), assets, credit experience, expansion plans, expansion capital requirements, and barriers to expansion.


Data collection began 5 months after the reference calendar year and continued for about 6 months.


A mail-out/mail-back survey of some 94,000 businesses selected from the Business Register (BR). Businesses were selected using a stratified random sampling procedure; strata reflect location (state) and industry classification; and larger businesses have higher chances of selection.

Survey forms were sent to owners of selected businesses; follow up contacts were made with initial non-respondents; and the results are compiled and published by business organization and ownership. In general, the survey was designed to update and supplement data from prior periodic surveys of women-owned employer businesses.


A Survey of Businesses report provides summary data for all employer businesses, and by gender of owner and type of organization, about 12 months after the reference year. Data include number of firms, receipts or assets, credit experience and expansion plans.

The Small Business Administration will use the data to evaluate business assistance program resources and policies. The Department of Labor and other Departments will use the data to update assessments of general and gender-based business conditions and outlooks, and help develop policies and programs to encourage strong and equitable business development.


Provided the only source of comprehensive and current data on business credit experience and requirements, business expansion plans and barriers, and gender- based business experience.


Survey of Business Owners (including minority-and women-owned businesses)

Characteristics of Business Owners Survey (discontinued 1992)

Characteristics of Business Owners Database

Enterprise Statistics (discontinued 1992)




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