Firms by men-owned and women-owned,
by minority-owned and nonminority owned,
and by veteran-owned and nonveteran-owned.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2012 Economic Census: Survey of Business Owners. Updated every 5 years. Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO)

The SBO provides the only comprehensive, regularly collected source of information on selected economic and demographic characteristics for businesses and business owners by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status. Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes this survey and provides for mandatory responses.


Included are all nonfarm businesses filing Internal Revenue Service tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more. The SBO covers both firms with paid employees and firms with no paid employees. The SBO is conducted on a company or firm basis rather than an establishment basis. A company or firm is a business consisting of one or more domestic establishments that the reporting firm specified under its ownership or control.

Business ownership is defined as having 51 percent or more of the stock or equity in the business and is categorized by:

Minority; equally minority/nonminority; and nonminority business ownership includes both Race and Ethnicity categories.

Firms equally male-/female-owned, equally minority-/nonminority-owned, and equally veteran-/nonveteran-owned are counted and tabulated as separate categories.

For complete definitions of the categories listed above, see Glossary

Detailed categories may not add up to the total due to rounding or because a Hispanic firm may be of any race. Moreover, each owner had the option of selecting more than one race and is included in each race selected. Firms with more than one domestic establishment are counted in each industry and geographic area in which they operate, but only once in the US and state totals for all sectors.

Not included in the tabulations for any of these categories are publicly held firms, foreign-owned companies, and not-for-profit companies, although the denominators for each percentage do include these companies.

For more information: