Included are businesses that filed 2002 tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships or any type of corporation and with receipts of $1,000 or more. Here are the top characteristics the data reports:
• Three million U.S. military veterans (14.5 percent of all respon-
dent owners) held business interests. Just over 66 percent of
these veterans owned the majority interest in the business.
• In 2002, 31 percent of the owners of respondent firms were over
the age of 55, with 20 percent of these owners between the ages
of 55 to 64. Twenty-nine percent of all owners of respondent
firms were between 45 and 54 years old.
• In 2002, 64 percent of the owners of respondent firms had at
least some college education at the time they started or acquired
ownership in their business; 23 percent had a bachelor’s degree;
and 17 percent had a graduate degree.
• Just over half of the owners of employer firms reported working
overtime in 2002 (more than 40 hours a week, on average), com-
pared to only 26 percent of the owners of non-employer firms.
• Slightly more than half of all interest owners of respondent
firms reported that the business was the primary source of
income in 2002. Seventy percent of the owners of employer
respondent firms reported that the business was the primary
source of income in 2002.
• More than half of business owners reported that their primary
function(s) in the business was managing the day-to-day
operations or producing their business’s goods and services.
Only four-in-10 business owners reported that their primary
function was financial control.
• Nearly 15 percent of respondent business owners are U.S. military veterans.
• One-in-three are over 55 years of age.
• America’s business owners are highly educated.
• Owners of employer firms work hard for their money.
• Owners of employer firms heavily rely on their businesses for their livelihoods.
• Most business owners’ primary function(s) is to manage the day-to-day operations.
Source: Characteristics of Business Owners: 2002, U.S. Census Bureau