Small business is a general term that is used in most all industries, regardless of size. Small business is the ideal form of small business owner. Generally speaking, it is not a simple concept to define. Because it involves so many different factors, there are certain criteria that must be met in order for a business to even be considered small.
Small business is generally defined as a private company, partnership, or single proprietorship which has less than two employees and usually less than five annual revenues. Typically, the size standards are industry-specific, but there are some size standards that apply equally to small businesses regardless of industry. The definition of “small business” in regards to being eligible for government assistance and receive preferential tax treatment varies greatly by country and industry, as well. In the United States, small business is generally defined as having an annual revenue greater than five thousand dollars. This amount is indexed annually, so the income of any business that meets these standards will remain level over time.
Some industries that are considered small businesses are farms, family farms, single-family residences, franchises, and contracting businesses. Many small businesses are considered to be small if they are operated by one person. This also includes sole proprietors and partnerships.
While the definition of a small business varies by countries and industries, it is generally agreed upon as to what types of small businesses should be eligible for tax breaks. One of the biggest areas of consideration is the number of employees a business has. Most businesses that are considered small businesses have at least one employee. Even if businesses have more employees, they do not typically reach the threshold for tax break eligibility. A business with three employees is not considered small, even if it is a small business as previously defined.
The next criteria for consideration is whether or not the business offers sales or service. All small businesses are required to offer sales service. This can be done through a storefront or online. Small businesses that offer online services are considered to be all business when they meet the other qualifications of a small business. There are different sets of sales qualification standards for different states, including each state’s individual requirements for small business tax breaks.
There are some exceptions to the requirement that small businesses have a sales person. These are considered “pass-through” businesses. Examples include government offices and courts, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, and certain volunteer organizations. An exception to this requirement are franchisees that are personally owned by the franchisee. Franchisee tax breaks only apply to personal franchisees. Any business owned by an unrelated third party is not considered to be a pass-through business for tax reasons.
The final area of business size standards involves whether the business meets the statutory requirements of the United States government and other private parties. For federal government requirements, all privately held businesses must meet size standards equal to or greater than those required of publicly held businesses. Additionally, all United States corporations are subject to the same corporate income tax as other United States corporations.
For private parties, size standards involve filing reports with the IRS with an accurate financial statement, along with an acceptable business plan that shows projected income and expenses. Business owners may also be required to file an income tax return with the IRS if they are self-employed. In either case, small business owners must know their income and liability limits and the maximum personal assets permitted in order to avoid tax liens and owing penalties. While there are numerous small business owners who do not understand all of the size standards involved, it is important to understand them to ensure compliance with all applicable laws.