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July 22, 2007

"Lone Wolves" - Single Person Businesses Grow past 20 Million

Thanks to Dan Pink by way of  Stephanie West Allen, we learn the following:

A daily average of 2,356 people went into business for themselves as the nation’s number of businesses without a payroll reached 20.4 million in 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today. (June 25, 2007)

     According to Nonemployer Statistics: 2005, the addition of 860,000 firms where an owner ventures outside the typical business culture of bosses and employees increased 4.4 percent over a one-year period. Businesses without paid employees, known in the business industry as “lone wolves,” had receipts of $951 billion and make up approximately 78 percent of the nation’s 26 million-plus firms.

While there is no way to know at this time how many solo practitioners are counted as 'lone wolves' I'm sure they are increasing significantly.  The most recent statistics I have seen are earlier than 2005 and put solo practitioners at 51% of all private practice attorneys.  But did you really read the last sentence?  78 percent of the nation's 26 million-plus firms are 'lone wolves."  That's over 20 million entrepreneurs/sole proprietors!

This tells me the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well and the legal profession is certainly part of the 78%.  And it further explains why home-based businesses are not flagged by the IRS anymore.  They would be flagging a significant percentage of the 26 million-plus firms and that would be way too much work!

The next big question which needs to be asked is, "how many of these 20 plus million entrepreneurs are home-based?" 

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