An independent business is a business that is free from outside control. It usually means a privately owned establishment, as opposed to a public limited company, the latter of which is owned by investment shares traded in the stock market. In many cases, independent businesses are sole proprietorship companies.
These businesses are often local small businesses that may be recruited for membership in an Independent Business Alliance, or participate in a Local First or Buy Local campaign. To be considered for these campaigns, Independent businesses are often defined as private, worker or cooperative or community ownership, minimum of 50% of the business is locally owned, decision-making authority is in the local business owners and the business has limited outlets and range geographically. 
Local, independent businesses have been linked to higher income and less inequality; “In 2013, for example, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta found that counties with larger shares of local small businesses outperform their peers on three critical economic indicators: they have stronger per capita income growth, faster employment growth, and lower poverty rates.” Independent businesses also generate a higher rate of tax revenue at lower cost to the public.
- ^Masters, Terry. “The 5 Main Characteristics of Proprietorship”. AzCentral. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- ^“» What is a Local Independent Business? (suggested definition)”. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
- ^Donahue |, Marie (2018-07-23). “Why Care about Independent, Locally Owned Businesses?”. Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Retrieved 2020-05-14.
- ^Minicozzi, Joe (2013). “”Thinking Differently About Development.””. Government Finance Review.