N.H. trails nation in nonemployer business creation

The only other state that didn’t see gains was Louisiana

New Hampshire was one of only two states in the United States that didn’t see a rise in the number of businesses without paid employees in 2011 from the previous year, according to new U.S. Census figures.

The decline in the number of nonemployer businesses in New Hampshire was infinitesimal — the state lost just over 100 of these businesses in 2011, dropping 0.1 percent, from 102,823 businesses in 2010 to 102,712 in 2011. But while the total number of nonemployer businesses declined over that time period, their receipts rose to $5.25 billion in 2011 from $5.16 billion in 2010.

The only other state that didn’t see gains in the number of nonemployer businesses was Louisiana, which lost 1.26 percent of such businesses, according to the Census Bureau in its annual “Nonemployer Statistics” report. 

Nationally, the number of businesses without paid employees – which includes sole proprietorships, corporations and partnerships – rose 1.7 percent to 22.5 million in 2011. The bureau’s data includes any companies that have no paid employees and are subject to federal income tax. Most nonemployers are self-employed individuals operating unincorporated businesses, the bureau said.

The states that added the most nonemployer businesses were California, Texas, Florida and New York, it found. Percentage-wise, the District of Columbia, North Dakota, Arizona and Delaware saw the largest gains.

Although the majority of U.S. business establishments are nonemployers, they average less than 4 percent of all sales and receipts nationally – an economic impact small enough that they are excluded from most Census Bureau business statistics, the agency said. This report primarily collects its data from annual or quarterly business income tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

The report also broke down nonemployer statistics by county. Only three New Hampshire counties bucked the statewide trend and saw gains in such businesses in 2011: Merrimack County, which gained just three over the year; Rockingham County, which gained 146; and Strafford, which gained 63.

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