How Much Do Entrepreneurs Make?

More than half of entrepreneurs, or small-business owners, pay themselves an average annual salary of $58,000 to $68,000. This figure greatly varies, depending upon geographic location, business experience and business markets. Entrepreneurs who are involved in sales-driven industries tend to make more money per year — $84,000 to $100,000 on average.

The average salary for entrepreneurs is hard to determine simply because it is all over the map. Small-business owners who are just starting out may struggle to pay themselves for the first few years. Many entrepreneurs obtain part-time jobs to even stay afloat, while others may work another job full time and work at their entrepreneurial pursuits in their spare time.

Entrepreneurs who do pay themselves for their work often determine their salary based on a variety of factors. Some pay themselves what they are worth; to determine this, they use online research tools to find comparable positions and salaries in similar geographic locations. Others will only pay themselves whatever is left over after all of the employees and bills are paid out. If an entrepreneur is in business growth mode, they may pay themselves only the minimum amount that they need to survive.

In most cases, entrepreneurs won't make a decent salary until the company they are building starts to succeed.