Is there publicly available data on small businesses?
July 18, 2011 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Are there free sources to find data about average business costs?

I am frequently looking for average costs that businesses will pay for things like rent, salaries, utilities, etc. Google is a good start, but if I wanted to find out what an average furniture store pays for rent as a percentage of sales it becomes difficult. It would be even better if I could search by area or zip code.
posted by AmitinLA to Work & Money (1 answer total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
In the US, private businesses don't have to report any of this information publicly except in specific circumstances (filing S1s to prepare for an IPO, for instance), and your figures (at least rent & utilities) are going to vary at least as much by business size or geography than industry.

You may be interested in the data on the Inc 5000. And for salaries, Glassdoor and Payscale. For rents, probably your best bet would be talking to a realtor who specializes in corporate leases, possibly even in a specific industry (but again, location is going to count for much more here than the specific business category). But overall, I think you're going to be disappointed if you're looking for public sources that let you aggregate and compare this type of information.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:10 AM on July 18, 2011

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