Business Survival Rates
When a small business adds an employee, it is required to register with the IRS to facilitate the collection and payment of withholding taxes. This allows a statistical government agency like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to track aggregate movements in the population, age, and number of employees businesses add or subtract during twelve-month periods ending March 31st each year. BLS has been collecting this data since 1994. The resultant information shows survival rates for businesses that remain remarkably consistent year over year, with slight variations depending on the year a business opened. Unfortunately there is no reliably comparable data available for sole proprietorship businesses, which outnumber employer-businesses, by a factor of almost 5:1.