Businesses with No Employees - Microbusinesses to Hit $1 trillion in Sales This Year

Non-employer firms or Microbusinesses are often home-based ventures with no paid employees and generally at least $1,000 in annual revenue. In an analysis for USA TODAY, the Small Business Administration estimates the number of these firms reached the 20 million mark for the first time this year. 

Microbusinesses' receipts rose to $887 billion in 2004, the most recent available; 7% annual growth puts it on track for $1 trillion in sales this year.

The rise of microbusinesses comes as corporate giants shed workers and fight for revenue. "The big guy is going away," says marketer Seth Godin, author of this year's Small is the New Big.

Microbusinesses are surging. There were 19.5 million in 2004, up 27% from 1997, when the federal government began publishing annual data on non-employer firms. The number of firms with employees rose a far smaller 7.3% during the same period, to 5.9 million.

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