What Exactly Is a “Small Business”?

October 12, 2023

Although your business may seem big to you, you may wonder how the government classifies it. A recent report by the Joint Committee on Taxation, a nonpartisan committee of the U.S. Congress, discusses what a “small business” is for tax purposes. As the report states, there’s no one definition of a small business. Instead, different definitions apply depending on the context, various criteria and certain thresholds.

Criteria include a business’s gross assets, gross receipts and its number of shareholders and employees. Even if a criterion such as gross receipts is the same across definitions, different thresholds may apply. Also, for some purposes, the tax code might define a small business in more than one way.

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