A Nation of Independence: What Makes American Business Different?

Business.com / Starting a Business / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

The United States of America; the land of the free and the home to over 27.9 million small businesses. What is it that makes us so great?

The date that most people associate with the Declaration of Independence is July 4, 1776. But did you know that August 2, 1776 is the date on which a paper copy was signed by 56 people?

If you're hoping to start a business, it doesn’t really matter where you live. From the United States to China and everywhere in between, it is likely that you have the opportunity to open up shop. However, some nations are more business-friendly. Some, such as the United States, make it easier to realize the dream of becoming a business owner.

Related Article: The State of Small Businesses in 2015

Starting a Business in the United States

While the word “freedom” means something different to everyone, this holds a special meaning for those who live in the United States.

The Bill of Rights became part of the constitution in 1791, which affords Americans with more freedom than most nations. This includes:

  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of the press
  • Freedom of assembly
  • Freedom of petition

Can you imagine the challenges associated with starting and maintaining a business in a country that does not provide this type of freedom? It may not be impossible, but it would be anything but simple.

For example, freedom of the press in the United States is defined as:

“...prohibiting the government from interfering with the printing and distribution of information or opinions, although freedom of the press, like freedom of speech, is subject to some restrictions, such as defamation law.”

Imagine a United States in which freedom of the press is not guaranteed. This would make it next to impossible for most companies to achieve success. How would you distribute information via the internet without freedom of the press? The answer is cut and dry: you wouldn’t.

Why America?

America is different than the rest of the world in many ways, including its approach to business.

There are many reasons why America is such a desirable place to start a business. This is why many foreigners, those who are not United States citizens, take the necessary steps toward starting a business in the U.S. They soon find that doing so in the United States is better than their homeland.

Here are some of the benefits:

Economic Stability

Just the same as every country, the United States economy has its fair share of highs and lows. Even so, it has remained relatively stable over the years. When times get tough, such as during the recession that started in 2007, companies may struggle. Once these bad times come to an end, however, the economy always rebounds and puts entrepreneurs in a position to succeed.

Related Article: To Borrow or Beg: Small Business Funding in 2015

Infrastructure

Take for example the interstate highway system in the United States. Ever since President Dwight Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, the country has been dedicated to providing safe, efficient and speedy travel.

More recently, the United States has taken the lead in terms of internet development, which includes speed, availability, and reliability. There are approximately 266,441,302 internet users in the United States, which is good for third in the world, only behind China (618,110,314) and India (300,340,854). While this means the United States is third in terms of overall users, its percentage of the population with access to the internet is 84.20 percent. This is in comparison to 45.80 in China and 24.10 in India.

History of Success

It is much easier to achieve success when you realize that others have done the same in the past. In the United States, you don’t have to look far to find companies that have been in business for hundreds of years. Here are just a few examples of companies that have proven the ability to achieve long term business success in the United States:

  • The Hartford Courant: 1764
  • Baker's Chocolate: 1765
  • Ames: 1774
  • Cigna: 1792
  • Jim Beam: 1795

Do you recognize any names on this list? Cigna is one of the largest insurance companies in the country. Jim Beam, known for its whiskey, has been pleasing the taste buds of millions for more than 200 years.

A long history of business success helps set America apart from other nations.

Variety of Industries

Entrepreneurs in the United States have hundreds upon hundreds of options. Some industries are new, others were established well before the Declaration of Independence.

According to the employment by major industry sector report published by the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the most common industries in the country, based on employment numbers, include:

  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Utilities
  • Wholesale trade
  • Retail trade
  • Transportation and warehousing
  • Financial activities
  • Professional and business services
  • Health care and social assistance

With the year over year growth of the internet, the number of available industries continues to rise. 

Key America Business Statistics

If you are still unsure as to how the United States is different than other countries in terms of business, here are some statistics that will open your eyes:

  • As of 2010, there were 27.9 million small businesses in the United States. This doesn’t account for companies with more than 500 employees.
  • In total, America based companies on the Fortune 500 have the highest GDP.
  • The United States is home to the top five most valuable brands in the world: Apple, Microsoft, Google, Coca-Cola, and IBM.

Final Word

The United States of America is truly a nation of independence. And for many, it is the country in which they realized their dream of starting a business. 

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