Findings indicate a knowledge gap of legal compliance requirements of starting a business among next generation of entrepreneurs
CT Corporation, a leading provider of business formation and legal compliance services, today released survey findings that reveal the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well among recent college graduates. Even with the job market picking up, many college graduates still dream of starting their own business and believe entrepreneurship to be a more stable career path than working for an already established company. However, despite these views, there exists a basic skills gap among this next generation of entrepreneurs in turning the dream of business ownership into a reality.
According to the national survey of 500 recent college graduates, there is a strong desire among respondents to start their own businesses, but they do not know what to do to get started. 60 percent want to start their own business, but only 45 percent actually believe starting their own business to be feasible. Furthermore, 67 percent of recent college grads do not fully understand the tasks critical to starting a business, such as preparing a business plan, incorporating a business, and fulfilling state requirements. These results collectively indicate a skills gap among the next generation of entrepreneurs that may prevent them from bringing their dreams of business ownership to fruition.
"It's important for aspiring business owners to understand their legal and compliance obligations when starting a new business as those decisions can have dramatic impact on the short- and long-term viability of the company," said Jennifer Friedman, VP at CT. "At CT, we've worked with more than 300,000 small business owners to support their needs at every stage of their business' lifecycle, from incorporation to state-by-state expansion. We help entrepreneurs make critical decisions with confidence."
Key findings from the CT survey include:
High expectations. 61 percent of recent college grads are interested in starting their own business, post-graduation. In fact, 45 percent of recent college graduates think that it is likely they will start their own business post-graduation while one in five have actually already started their own business before graduating. Entrepreneurship is so popular, over half of the college graduates surveyed want to be their own boss. The nearly 1 in 3 (30 percent) who feel it unlikely they would go into business for themselves, still want to do it.
Understanding the nuts and bolts. Having an innovative business idea is one consideration, but knowing how to act upon it is another. Two-thirds (67 percent) of college graduates do not fully understand what incorporating a business entails, while nearly half (45 percent) of recent college grads do not think they can do something as simple as coming up with an original business name, much less prepare a business plan (59 percent), market their business (59 percent), or obtain a domain name (54 percent).
Job security. In the short-term, recent grads have trouble seeing the benefits of starting their own business. Just 1 in 5 (21 percent) feel that starting their own business would make them more secure than getting a job with an existing company in the next 3-5 years. There is a risk to striking out on your own, and they know it. However, move forward a few years after graduation, and grads' confidence in their abilities grows. In the long-term, meaning the next 10-20 years, 51 percent of recent grads say that starting their own business would make them feel more secure than getting a job with an existing company.
About the survey
The CT Corporation survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 500 recent college graduates, defined as having graduated in the past 12 months, or will graduate in 2014, between May 20th and May 28th, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
CT, a Wolters Kluwer company, works with businesses of all sizes to offer customized expertise and comprehensive solutions regarding everything from business formations to filing business licenses and ongoing compliance. Drawing on more than a century of experience helping businesses, CT is focused on helping businesses succeed, delivering incorporation, legal and compliance solutions. As a trusted partner of the National Law Journal’s top 250 law firms, CT works with more than 70 percent of the National Law Journal’s top 250 law firms, 750 of the Fortune 1,000 companies and more than 300,000 small businesses every year. For more information, visit ct.wolterskluwer.com. CT is a business of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company. Wolters Kluwer had 2013 annual revenues of €3.6 billion ($4.7 billion), employs approximately 19,000 people worldwide, and maintains operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Wolters Kluwer is headquartered in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands. Its shares are quoted on Euronext Amsterdam (WKL) and are included in the AEX and Euronext 100 indices.