A new study by the SBA Office of Advocacy has found small biz success rate of 67% after four years instead of the 10% rate assumed by the public.

Brian Headd, an SBA economist who wrote the report, says past studies have often assumed business closures equal business failures. However, many owners close or sell their successful businesses by choice due to a desired lifestyle change or other factors.

The new SBA study of 12,185 companies used data from the U.S. Census, which asked small-business owners why they had closed their businesses and whether they considered them a success. As a result, the study discovered that ?a third of closed businesses were successful at closure.?

Headd said that an earlier study found that 76% of new firms were open after two years, 47% after four years and 38% after six years. Headd said that his research found 67% of new businesses are termed successful after four years, including 50% that remain open and 17% that closed but are still considered successful at closing for reasons including the owner getting another job or retiring. That leaves 33% of the businesses which are deemed unsuccessful.

This is stark contrast to often held belief that as many as 90% of businesses fail in the first year: A belief that may have held back many would be small biz owners from launching their enterprises. ?The study?s 67% success rate figure could encourage people to launch businesses, ? said Headd.

The study also indicates that businesses most likely to succeed begin with $50,000 in capital, an owner with a college degree and a home office.

The study will also be published in an upcoming issue of Small Business Economics, an academic journal focused on entrepreneurship and small business that comes out eight times yearly.