The characteristic features of different criteria and operation of small businesses frequently used in everyday life, scientific journals, the business community professionals. In the article is researched interpretation of the concept of «small forms of management» under Ukrainian law and the terms of various scientists and given its own interpretation of this concept. It is discussed the problems of functioning of small forms of farming in rural areas. The number of functioning farms in Ukraine for the previous period is reduced. The experience of different countries in the use of different classification criteria (criteria) enterprises belonging to the category of small enterprises is studied by authors. Criteria for determining the number of employees i amount of basic income received by small forms of management is compared. It is proposed requirements of small forms of management to be contributed to the Ukrainian legislation.