What is startups? What is the difference between startup and small business? - Letsdiskuss
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Ramesh Kumar

Marketing Manager | Updated 25 Jul, 2018 |

What is startups? What is the difference between startup and small business?

Minakshi Singh

@Minakshi | |Updated 02 May, 2019

If you are starting a small business you may just be providing existing types of products or services. They may not be using a USP (Unique Selling Position). 

Ashish Mehra

Finance Expert | |Updated 07 May, 2019

A Startup is an entity/company that is in the first stage of its operations.  A startup is a registered entity not more than 7 years old. 


An SME is an independently owned and operated enterprise. A small business is a self-sustaining organization that generates revenue from the first day of opening.


If you're looking to start an SME, checkout Lendingkart that offer small business loans online.

Harry Warrick

Trainer, Writer, Artist | Posted 26 Mar, 2019

I would think that for most people in the business World a Startup versus a small business would be thought of often based on the business structure, and goals.

If you are starting a small business you may just be providing existing types of products or services. They may not be using a USP (Unique Selling Position). 

After the tech startups that were so big in the 1980s and later many people view a startup as a company with a legal structure that is often more corporate in nature. So not often a LLC (limited liability company) or privately held business. More often than not these businesses are stock-based corporations that intend to raise capital, and at some point sell or offer stocks for investment in their startup.

In the United States as an example, the business might be founded as a C corp or an S corporation for the startup. Also, most startups may start as private companies but be structured legally to go public at some point in the future.

So I would say that the primary difference is the business structure and intent that the founders have in mind when they are starting their business.

Siddharth Singh

Blogger | Posted 09 Nov, 2018

Risk and scale.

I started a restaurant, but never considered it a “startup”. It was new to the world, not a chain, and though successful still a small business. It was complicated to figure out but there were a million examples to work from and you start cash flowing rather quickly.

I also have a startup - because they are new products that have not been done before. There are many complicated things to figure out - even with simple products! I agree with Paul O’Brien’s answer although the fail rate for restaurants and startups seem to be nearly the same. Startups often require more money though.

In a startup you work for a long time without making money as you need to prove the product or the concept. If managed correctly, once it takes off you can scale up quickly. With a small business (like a single location restaurant) there is only so much money that can be made. If a small business is unique enough and loved enough, you can franchise it to become larger but it is a different kind of risk/reward.