The U.S. Census released the 2013 nonemployer business data. In 2013 there were 23.0 million businesses without paid employees in the U.S. This is an increase of 270,000, or 1.2% over 2012.
Over the decade from 2003 to 2013 the number of nonemployer businesses increased by 4.4 million.
The U.S. Census defines nonemployer businesses as:
A nonemployer business is one that has no paid employees, has annual business receipts of $1,000 or more ($1 or more in the Construction industry), and is subject to federal income taxes.
Nonemployer businesses include a mix of solopreneurs, freelancers, passive businesses, hobby businesses and even corporations. Many have little or no activity, but others can be quite large. For example, more than 30,000 nonemployers generated more than $1 million in revenue.
Overall nonemployer businesses generated about $1.1 trillion in revenue in 2013, with the average nonemployer pulling in about $48,000.
The growth of nonemployer businesses is another clear sign that the number of independent workers and/or solopreneurs continues to increase.
The U.S. Census chart below shows the number of nonemployers by industry.