According to the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners and Self-Employed Persons (SBO, 2012), 2.52 million businesses in the United States were majority-owned by veterans. Of this number, 442,485 veterans were employers, and 2.08 million were non-employers. In fact, 10.3 percent of all owners who responded to the 2012 SBO were veterans, and 7.3 percent of those veteran-respondents had service-connected disabilities.

The states with the highest percentage of veteran-owned firms in 2012 were:

  • South Carolina (13.0 percent)
  • New Hampshire (12.2 percent)
  • Virginia (11.7 percent)
  • Alaska (11.7 percent)
  • Mississippi (11.4 percent)

Size and revenue

The 2012 SBO found that veteran-owned firms had $1.14 trillion in receivables, employed 5.03 million people, and had an annual payroll of $195 billion. Based on that SBO data, veteran-owned businesses represented 9.1 percent of all U.S. firms.

Almost all of these businesses (99.9 percent) were classified as small businesses with fewer than 500 employees. Around half (54.5 percent) had one to four employees; 71.3 percent had from one to nine employees; 80.6 percent had from one to nineteen; 9.0 percent had 20 or more; and just 3.2 percent had more than 50 employees.

Top industries for veteran-owned businesses

Interestingly, as of 2012, nearly 30 percent of all veteran-owned businesses fell into one of two industry groups: construction (63,496 veteran-owned businesses) or the professional, scientific, and technical services group (74,654 veteran-owned businesses). The healthcare and social assistance group also had a large number of veteran-owned firms (52,444), as did retail trade (43,996).

Using Vertical IQ, you can get even more specific and current data on veteran-owned businesses. When you log into Vertical IQ, go to the Sort and Target feature, select “Industry Demographics,” and then choose “Veteran-owned businesses.” This will give you the specific industries with the highest percentage of ownership by veterans, per the latest census data. The top five are:

  • Dollar and General Merchandise Stores (26 percent)
  • Doll, Toy, and Game Manufacturers (25 percent)
  • Landscape Architectural Services (21 percent)
  • Security Guards and Patrol Services (18.9 percent)
  • Household Appliance Manufacturers (17.7 percent)

The veteran-owned business niche

With Veterans Day last week, veteran-owned businesses have been top-of-mind. If you are interested in adding more of these businesses to your portfolio, Vertical IQ is a good place to start. In addition to sorting and targeting businesses owned by veterans, you also can do more in-depth research on the industries in which they operate.

Let’s get started! Contact us today for more information about Vertical IQ or for a demo!


Image credit: Photo by Kevin McCartney, Pexels