U.S. Department of Commerce

Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

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Announcing the 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO)

Approximately 1.75 million businesses will be selected to participate in the 2012 survey.

Letters asking business owners to complete a secure, online survey will be mailed in two phases. Phase I will begin September 2013, and Phase II will begin June 2014.

Tentative release dates have been selected for the 2012 SBO data products.


Results from the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO) are now available.

Approximately 2.3 million businesses received the 2007 SBO-1 questionnaire asking for information about characteristics of the businesses and their owners.

SBO data are presented by:

  • Gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status
  • Geography (U.S., states, metropolitan areas, counties, and places)
  • Industry (2- through 6-digit NAICS for selected geographies)
  • Firm receipts size
  • Firm employment size

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Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS): 2007

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The first-ever Survey of Business Owners (SBO) Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) is now available. The SBO PUMS was created using responses from the 2007 SBO and provides access to survey data at a level of detail below that of the currently published SBO results. The SBO PUMS will allow researchers to create customized tables and models and to study entrepreneurial activity and the relationships between business characteristics such as access to capital, firm size, employer-paid benefits, minority- and women-ownership, and firm age. The SBO PUMS file includes national- and state-level data and detailed characteristics of businesses and their owners while protecting the confidentiality of survey respondents. The SBO is part of the Economic Census conducted every five years in years ending in "2" and "7."

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Ownership Characteristics of Classifiable U.S. Exporting Firms: 2007

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This first-ever report describes findings from the merging of two Census Bureau data products, the 2007 Profile of U.S. Exporting Companies (the Profile) and the 2007 Survey of Business Owners (SBO). The merged data from the 2007 Profile and the 2007 SBO provide new insights on the ownership and performance of U.S. exporting firms by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. Among other findings, the data show that exports accounted for 14.4 percent of total receipts of minority-owned exporters compared with 5.4 percent of total receipts for nonminority-owned exporters.

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Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Survey of Business Owners | (301) 763-3316 | csd.sbo@census.gov Last Revised: January 30, 2013