Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) defines a business based upon the number of paid employees. For this reason, self-employed and “indeterminate” businesses are generally not included in the present publication as they do not have paid employees.
Accordingly, this publication defines an SME (small-to-medium enterprise) as a business establishment with 1–499 paid employees, more specifically:
- A small business has 1 to 99 paid employees.
- A medium-sized business has 100 to 499 paid employees.
- A large business has 500 or more paid employees.
ISED also categorizes businesses with 1-4 employees as micro-enterprises.
“As of December 2019, there were 1.23 million employer businesses in Canada (Table 1). Of these, 1.2 million (97.9 percent) were small businesses, 22,905 (1.9 percent) were medium-sized businesses and 2,978 (0.2 percent) were large businesses.
- Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. (2020). Key Small Business Statistics 2020 [PDF]. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/061.nsf/vwapj/KSBS_2020-v2-ENG.pdf/$FILE/KSBS_2020-v2-ENG.pdf ↵