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American Veterans Own 9 Percent of U.S. Firms

Release Date: 
Thursday, March 29, 2012 - 4:00am
Release Number: 
12-05 ADV
Patrick Morris


American Veterans Own 9 Percent of U.S. Firms


WASHINGTON, D.C. –America’s veterans own 9 percent of all U.S. firms, according to an Advocacy report, Veteran-owned Businesses and their Owners—Data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners, released today. The report analyzes data for 2007, the most recent release from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO). It finds that more than 90 percent of veteran-owned businesses are small firms with fewer than 20 employees. The study estimates the number of veteran-owned businesses at 2.45 million, employing 5.79 million workers, with sales and receipts of $1.22 trillion.  


“America’s veterans are entrepreneurial and highly motivated to create new economic ventures,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant. “We’re pleased to be able to provide this detailed analysis of veteran-owned businesses.”  


Key findings of the study include the following:

  • Of the total number of veteran-owned firms, nearly one-third were in just two industry groups: construction and professional, scientific, and technical services.
  • As a percentage of businesses in each industry, finance and insurance had the largest veteran-owned share, at 13.2 percent, followed by transportation and warehousing; mining; construction; professional, scientific, and technical services; and manufacturing.
  • By state, California, Texas, Florida, New York, and Georgia had the largest numbers of veteran-owned businesses. The top five states with the highest percentages of businesses owned by veterans were South Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama.
  • Veteran business owners were predominantly age 55 and over  (75.1 percent), reflecting the ages of veterans overall, and they tended to be better educated than other business owners.
  • Of the veteran business owners who responded to the survey, 8.3 percent had service-connected disabilities.
  • Veteran-owned employer businesses were somewhat more likely to offer benefits such as health insurance, contributions to retirement plans, profit sharing, and paid leave than firms overall.


Veteran-owned Businesses and their Owners—Data from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners  is on the Advocacy website:


The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government.  The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit, or call (202) 205-6533.                  



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