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Business Owner: Education Requirements and Career Information

Business owners turn ideas into goods and services that are offered to the general public. They are responsible for a wide variety of duties and although it is not required for a business owner to earn a college degree, there are different degree programs that prospective business owners can complete which may make the business more successful.

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Education Requirements for a Business Owner

Although it is generally not required to have a college degree in order to own a business, completing a college degree program will give prospective business owners a better understanding of what owning a business entails. There are various educational career paths that students can choose from, including earning an associate, bachelor's or master's degree in business administration, management or a related field.

Although there are a variety of degree programs that aspiring business owners can choose from, general business courses will be similar for some degree programs. Similar business-related courses include:

  • Basics of management and marketing
  • Financial management and policy
  • Various economics courses
  • Accounting courses
  • Organizational leadership

Business Licensing and Other Requirements

There are various requirements that businesses must meet before they can offer goods or services to the general public. For example, any business that has employees must have an employer identification number which will be used to identify tax accounts for various agencies. Business owners must also meet requirements for unemployment insurance, various building licenses and permits, worker's compensation, labor laws and safety regulations.

Career Information

Every business, firm, franchise and agency has an owner. Business owners are responsible for making the decisions that affect the company, including what goods and or services their company will be offering to customers. They also hire employees, set goals and implement policies. Depending on the size of the company, the owner may work directly with the employees to fulfill his or her responsibilities, or there may be several other managers and employees who help the owner by overseeing different aspects of the business.

The duties of a business owner will depend on what type of company the owner runs. The duties of a restaurant owner will be much different than the duties of an auto repair shop owner. In order to keep sales up and to continue operating, businesses must provide quality goods and services to their customers to keep them coming back.

Business owners who are just starting out may want to consider hiring professionals to help market or promote the new business. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most new businesses fail because the owners do not see beyond their initial ideas, and they lack the experience and expertise that is needed to run a successful business ( Additionally, the BLS reported in 2009 that there were over 550,000 businesses in the U.S. that had been operational for less than one year, and about 76% of new businesses were still operational after two years. According to, small business owners earn a median annual salary of $61,657 as of December 2013.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics