The Kauffman Foundation and LegalZoom have released results from the first ever Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index, and according to the survey results startups are feeling optimistic about the 2012 business year.

The nationwide survey was conducted in January 2012 and results were compiled from 800 respondents. Out of those who responded to the survey, 60% ran a small business from their homes and 69% were over 40 years of age. A first of its kind, the Startup Confidence Index is a quarterly survey designed to measure the confidence level of entrepreneurs and startups.

Highlights from the survey’s report include:

  • 25% of respondents reported plans to hire new employees in 2012.
  • 68% of respondents felt that the 2012 economy will either stay the same or continue to grow.
  • 81% of respondents were confident, or very confident, that their business would be more profitable in the 2012 year than at the time of the survey.
  • 75% of respondents felt consumer demand in 2012 would stay the same or increase.

Although the majority of survey respondents felt that the 2012 economy would stay the same or improve, 31% of respondents reported that they expected to see deterioration in this year’s economy.

The results from the Startup Confidence Index seem to mirror a number of additional 2012 survey results which indicate that small businesses are feeling more optimistic about the economy. For example, the initial 2012 Wells Fargo Small Business Index survey results demonstrate the highest level of small business optimism in over 3 years – and the National Federation of Independent Business survey reported 5 straight months of increases in small business confidence including for the month of January 2012.

The data for the Startup Confidence Index was compiled from responses to an email survey distributed to LegalZoom clientele who created their small businesses in the last 12 months. Vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, Robert Litan, pointed out that although the survey, based on self-responses, was not entirely scientific that it could prove to be an important indicator of entrepreneurial trends for 2012. LegalZoom CEO, John Suh, also reported plans to monitor if the intentions of the 25% of respondents who reported plans to hire new employees changes in the upcoming year.


Tom Post. “Entrepreneurs Predict a Great 2012.” (2/15/2012). Forbes.

Kauffman Foundation. “Entrepreneurs Optimistic About 2012, According to Kauffman/LegalZoom Startup Confidence Index.” (2/15/2012).

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