Study: Owners of Incorporated Businesses More Active

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Owners of incorporated businesses tend to be more active, more educated, wealthier and younger than owners of unincorporated businesses, according to an Experian study of small businesses released today.

The study examines the demographic and firmagraphic makeup of small business owners and identifies differences between owners of incorporated and unincorporated micro-businesses.

"Part of our reason behind doing this is that we see a lot of companies, when deciding how to target market into the small business segment, checking to see whether or not small businesses are incorporated," said Denise Hopkins, senior director of marketing for business marketing solutions at Experian, Costa Mesa, CA. "In the past, there was an attempt to eliminate the incorporated businesses in that segment because they didn't appear to be real small business."

Experian compiled a sample of 1.2 million incorporated and unincorporated small business owners, selecting businesses that had no more than 25 employees and $10 million in annual sales. To develop the study, Experian used proprietary data from its Business Owner Link file and its Insource consumer demographic database.

The research also showed that incorporated owners tend to show higher affinity for travel, gadgets and high-end foreign cars. The study also found that:

* Incorporated business owners have incomes 35 percent higher than the overall population. By contrast, unincorporated owners' incomes are 24 percent higher.

* Incorporated owners are 56 percent more likely to have completed college, whereas unincorporated owners are 29 percent more likely.

* Incorporated business owners are 94 percent more likely to exhibit "work hard, play hard" attitudes than unincorporated owners and the overall population.

Ms. Hopkins said the survey is important because "it helps marketers better understand and connect with the small business segment by highlighting incorporated businesses that may have previously been excluded from business-to-business marketing campaigns."

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