15 Fascinating Nebraska Small Business Statistics


Agriculture is a critical component of Nebraska’s economy, accounting for nearly 34% of business sales, 22% of the gross state product of $114.96 billion, and nearly a quarter of the state’s jobs, according to a report by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers

The Cornhusker State is a major producer of beef, pork, corn (maize), soybeans, and sorghum. Over the past few decades, the state economy has slowly diversified to include industries such as freight transport (rail and truck), manufacturing, telecommunications, information technology, and insurance.

Small businesses (SMBs) in Nebraska form the backbone of the economy, nearly 100% of all employer businesses are small firms. Small business owners are attracted to the state's low cost of living, reputable universities, thriving professional community, and friendly locals.

Have a look at these interesting statistics on Nebraska’s small businesses:

  • There are 179,509 small businesses in Nebraska—99.1% of all businesses in the state.
  • Five industries claim the largest number of small businesses:
    • Other services (except public administration) — 25,969
    • Construction — 21,840
    • Retail trade — 19,666
    • Real estate, rental, and leasing — 18,223
    • Professional, scientific, and technical services — 18,214
  • There are 412,587 small business employees that account for 49.5% of the state’s labor force.
  •  Self-employed individuals who run their own incorporated businesses have an average median income of $43,000. Those who run unincorporated businesses have an average median income of $27,000.
  • To form a corporation in Nebraska, you need to file your Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State’s office. The filing fee is $60.
  • Nebraska has both a corporate income tax and a franchise tax known as the Corporation Occupation Tax. Traditional (C-type) corporations are taxed at two marginal rates:
    • Taxable income up to $100,000 is taxed at 5.58%.
    • Taxable income over $100,000 is taxed at 7.81%.
  • There are 1,488 small business exporters in Nebraska who are responsible for 17.6% of the state’s $7.7 billion worth of export revenue.
  • Nebraska does not require S corporations to pay income tax. However, they are required to pay the state’s corporation occupation tax. In addition, each individual S corporation shareholder will owe state tax on his or her share of the company’s income.
  • Three industries have the largest share of small business employees:
    • Health care and social assistance — 69,530
    • Accommodation and food services — 53,179
    • Retail trade — 44,157
  • To form an LLC (limited liability company), you need to file your Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. The filing fee varies between $105–$107.
  • In 2018, Nebraska banks gave out 28,729 loans under $100,000 to small businesses while reporting under the Community Reinvestment Act. The cumulative value of the loans was $492.8 million.
  • In 2019, small businesses created 5,321 net jobs. Firms with fewer than 20 employees generated 3,442 net jobs while firms employing 20 to 99 employees lost 330 net jobs.
  • Out of over 179,000 small business owners, only 10,611 are self-employed minorities.
  • In the fourth quarter of 2018, 1,621 SMBs exited the market resulting in the loss of 4,182 jobs. During the same period, 1,582 businesses started up employing 5,380 people.


  1. US SBA – State Small Business Profiles
  2. Nolo
  3. Business News Daily
  4. Statista

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