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Latest release

Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits

Contains counts of actively trading businesses, rates of entry to and exit from the market sector of the economy, and rates of business survival

Reference period
June 2015 to June 2019

Key statistics

At June 30 2019 there were 2,375,753 actively trading businesses in the Australian economy.

In 2018-19 there was a:

  • 2.7%, or 62,462, increase in the number of businesses.
  • 15.4% entry rate, with 355,722 entries.
  • 12.7% exit rate, with 293,260 exits.
     

Three industries accounted for more than half of total annual growth in businesses, these were:

  • Construction
  • Transport, postal and warehousing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

 

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Main contributors to change

Industry

Annual change in business counts, by industry
Industry Division2017-182018-19ChangeChange (%)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing175,539173,932-1,607-0.9
Mining8,0028,045430.5
Manufacturing85,51086,4289181.1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services7,0207,3763565.1
Construction385,273394,5759,3022.4
Wholesale Trade80,38881,6271,2391.5
Retail Trade131,478132,8351,3571.0
Accommodation and Food Services94,58495,3017170.8
Transport, Postal and Warehousing176,477189,98213,5057.7
Information Media and Telecommunications22,19823,2491,0514.7
Financial and Insurance Services206,820211,6444,8242.3
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services254,752259,2904,5381.8
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services284,674294,4719,7973.4
Administrative and Support Services91,19396,2495,0565.5
Public Administration and Safety7,7377,9221852.4
Education and Training31,45133,0551,6045.1
Health Care and Social Assistance135,252141,6286,3764.7
Arts and Recreation Services28,57629,7431,1674.1
Other Services98,127102,0533,9264.0
Currently Unknown8,2406,348-1,892-
All Industries2,313,2912,375,75362,4622.7

Transport, postal and warehousing +7.7%

In 2018-19 this industry accounted for 21.6% of total annual growth in businesses.

This industry had a:

  • 7.7% increase in the number of businesses, the largest of any industry, with an increase of 13,505 to 189,982 total.
  • 27.2% entry rate, the highest of all industries, with 90.9% of entries being non-employing.
  • 12.3% increase in sole proprietors, which now account for 63.1% of the industry.
  • 45.7% three year survival rate of business entries, the second lowest of any industry.
     

The three classes that accounted for most of the growth in this industry were:

  • Other transport services n.e.c. (ANZSIC 5299)
  • Taxi and other road transport (ANZSIC 4623)
  • Courier pick-up and delivery services (ANZSIC 5102)
     

Construction +2.4%

In 2018-19 this industry accounted for 16.6% of all businesses and had the largest number of business counts across all industries.

This industry had a:

  • 2.4% increase in the number of businesses, with an increase of 9,302 to 394,575 total.
  • 16.5% entry rate, with 63,617 business entries, the most of any industry.
     

The three classes that accounted for most of the growth in this industry were:

  • House construction (ANZSIC 3011)
  • Carpentry services (ANZSIC 3242)
  • Total other construction services n.e.c. (ANZSIC 3200)
     

In two of these classes, Carpentry services and Total other construction services n.e.c., sole proprietors accounted for almost two-thirds of businesses in this period.

Agriculture -0.9%

In 2018-19 this industry had a:

  • 0.9% decrease in the number of businesses, the only industry to decline, with a decrease of 1,607 to 173,932 total.
  • 6.9% entry rate, the lowest of any industry, with 12,128 entries.
  • 7.8% exit rate, the lowest of any industry, with 13,735 exits.
     

The three classes that accounted for most of the decline in this industry were:

  • Beef cattle farming (specialised) (ANZSIC 0142)
  • Sheep farming (specialised) (ANZSIC 0141)
  • Forestry (ANZSIC 0301)
     

This was offset by increases in:

  • Sheep-beef cattle farming (ANZSIC 0144)
  • Grain-sheep or grain-beef cattle farming (ANZSIC 0145)
     

n.e.c. = not elsewhere classified

States and territories

In 2018-19 there was a:

  • 5.2% increase in the number of businesses in the ACT, the largest of any state/territory, with an increase of 1,488 to 30,051 total.
  • 3.6% increase in the number of businesses in Victoria, with an increase of 22,527 to 640,736 total.
  • 1.0% increase in the number of businesses in Western Australia, the lowest of any state, with an increase of 2,363 to 232,967 total.
     
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Institutional sector

In 2018-19 households accounted for 55.6% of all businesses, the largest of any institutional sector

There was a:

  • 3.7% increase in non-financial corporations, the largest of any institutional sector, with an increase of 29,900 to 846,709 total.
  • 2.4% increase in financial corporations, with an increase of 4,789 to 201,807 total.
     

65% of businesses in the household institutional sector were in the following industries:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Construction
  • Transport, postal and warehousing
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
     

Financial corporations account for more than 95% of businesses in the financial and insurance services industry.

In 2018-19 companies accounted for 37.9% of all businesses, the largest of any type of legal organisation, while sole proprietors accounted for 55.9% of total growth in businesses.

There was a:

  • 5.5% increase in sole proprietors, the largest of any TOLO, with an increase of 34,890 to 664,279 total.
  • 3.5% decrease in partnerships, the only TOLO to decline, with a decrease of 9,080 to 248,132 total.
  • 23.2% entry rate for sole proprietors, the largest of any TOLO, with 146,240 entries.
     

Five industries accounted for 81.1% of growth in sole proprietors, these were:

  • Construction
  • Transport, postal and warehousing
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Administrative and support services
  • Health care and social assistance
     

Employment size

In 2018-19 non-employing businesses accounted for 62.8% of all businesses, while 69.1% of employing businesses had 1-4 employees.

There was a:

  • 3.9% increase in non-employing businesses, increasing by 55,385 to 1,490,932 total.
  • 0.8% increase in employing businesses, increasing by 7,077 to 884,821 total.
  • 4.8% increase in businesses with 200 or more employees, with an increase of 195 to 4,271 total.
     

Non-employers accounted for more than 70% of businesses in four industries, these were:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Transport, postal and warehousing
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services
     

Turnover size

In 2018-19:

  • 93.0% of businesses had turnover of less than $2 million.
  • 25.0% of businesses had turnover of less than $50,000.
  • 74.5% of entries had turnover of less than $200,000.
     

There was a:

  • 4.7% increase in businesses with turnover of $10 million or more, with an increase of 1,666 to 37,464 total.
     

Five industries accounted for more than 60% of growth in businesses with turnover of $10 million or more, these were:

  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Wholesale trade
  • Financial and insurance services
  • Professional, scientific and technical services

Interactive map

Counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits June 2015 to June 2019 - interactive map

Interactive map 

This map uses data contained in Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2015 to June 2019

How to use

  • Navigating topics: maps can be selected via the drop-down menu (mobile devices) or the tabs (larger screens).
  • Search: the search icon opens the search function. It is set to look for locations such as addresses, suburbs and postcodes contained within an SA2 or LGA.
  • Data: on each map, an SA2 or LGA region can be selected to view the underlying data. Data for all SA2s and LGAs can be found in the Data downloads section of this publication.
  • If the maps do not load successfully, please try refreshing this page.
     

More information

  • Local Government Area boundaries are the standard geographical areas of incorporated local government councils. Statistical Area 2 boundaries are presented according to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS), 2016. For more information see the Statistical Geography page of the ABS website or the following: Australian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 1 - Main Structure and Greater Capital City Statistical Areas, July 2016 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.001); Australian Statistical Geography Standard, Volume 3 - Non-ABS Structures, July 2019 (cat. no. 1270.0.55.003).
  • Units in the profiled population are not included in LGA or SA2 level geography.
  • For businesses in the non-profiled population, the main business address of a business relates to the physical address where the main business activity takes place.
  • Businesses can operate in more than one geographical location and be represented by a single ABN. These are referred to as multi-location businesses. For the purposes of this release, multi-location businesses are attributed to one geographical classification to prevent double counting of businesses. The individual locations of businesses with multiple sites are not available. The issues of geocoding multi location businesses are more pronounced in counts at smaller geographies, as multi location businesses will only be attributed to a single SA2/LGA. As such, it cannot be assumed that business counts (or main industry) at each geographical level reflect all business operations within that geography.
  • Detailed data information is available in the Methodology.

Conceptual and practical basis for counts

The following table illustrates how the number of actively trading businesses presented in this ABS statistical release differs from the total number of entities with an Australian Business Number (ABN). For businesses that are within scope of this ABS statistical release, the table also details the number of profiled businesses relative to the number of non-profiled businesses.

Derivation of CABEE frame from the Australian Business Register (ABR) (a)June 2019
No. of Units
Total non-cancelled ABNs on the ABR (b)
7,914,592
- ABNs not actively trading in goods and services in Australia (no active GST role or is a GST long term non-remitter (LTNR))
5,454,838
= Active ABNs on the ABS Business Register (ABSBR) trading in goods and services
2,459,754
- ABNs which are out of scope of CABEE

· ABNs linked to complex business structures (profiled population) (c)
· ABNs not operating in the market sector, i.e. with an out of scope industry
(ANZSIC), institutional sector (SISCA) or type of legal organisation (TOLO)
89,230
= Total ABNs (non-profiled population) in scope of CABEE
2,370,524
+ Profiled population (Type of Activity Units) in scope of CABEE
5,229
= Total count of businesses in scope of CABEE
2,375,753
Reconciliation of CABEE frame from previous year2018-19
No. of units
Count of businesses operating at the start of the financial year (June 2018)
2,313,291
+ Business entries · Includes new business registrations, reactivations of cancelled businesses, and businesses that have recommenced remitting GST. May also include a small number of units moving out of the profiled population.
355,722
- Business exits
· Includes businesses that have ceased and cancelled their ABN, businesses that have ceased remitting GST for an extended period of time, and businesses that have been involved in mergers and acquisitions where the ABN has changed. May also include a small number of units moving into the profiled population.
293,260
= Count of businesses operating at the end of the financial year (June 2019)
2,375,753
a. Please refer to the Scope and Coverage subsection in the explanatory notes on the methodology page for more detailed information.
b. The ABSBR is updated monthly and data is extracted as close to 30 June as possible. Minor differences in the timing of the CABEE frame contribute to the difference between end of year business counts presented in this release and those published by the ABR.
c. Businesses on the ABSBR are captured using an economic units model that has two populations; the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure. Businesses in the non-profiled population are represented by the ABN as they have simple structures. Businesses in the profiled population have large or complex structures and are represented by a statistical unit known as the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). Refer to the Scope section of the methodology page for more detailed information.

Data downloads

Data cube 1: Tables 1 - 20 of counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits

Data cube 2: Businesses by main state by industry class by employment size ranges

Data cube 3: Businesses by main state by industry class by turnover size ranges

Data cube 4: Survival of businesses by main state by subdivision by employment size ranges

Data cube 5: Survival of entries by main state by subdivision by employment size ranges

Data cube 6: Survival of businesses by main state by subdivision by turnover size ranges

Data cube 7: Survival of entries by main state by subdivision by turnover size ranges

Data cube 8: Businesses by industry division by Statistical Area Level 2 by employment size ranges

Data cube 9: Businesses by industry division by Statistical Area Level 2 by turnover size ranges

Data cube 10: Businesses by industry division by Local Government Area (LGA) by employment size ranges

20/02/2020 - Data cubes 10 and 11 were re-released to correct an error. This error was exclusive to these data cubes. No other data cubes have been affected

Data cube 11: Businesses by industry division by Local Government Area (LGA) by turnover size ranges

20/02/2020 - Data cubes 10 and 11 were re-released to correct an error. This error was exclusive to these data cubes. No other data cubes have been affected

History of changes

Show all

05/03/2020 - An interactive map that allows users to explore business counts data at the Local Government Area (LGA) and Statistical Area 2 (SA2) geographical levels is being released today.

20/02/2020 - Data cubes 10 and 11 were re-released to correct an error. This error was exclusive to these data cubes. No other data cubes have been affected.

Notes

Changes from the previous release

Revision of methodology in calculating turnover size range

Non-BAS imputation will no longer be applied in determining turnover size range. Where auxiliary BAS data is not available for imputation these units will now be assigned a turnover value of $0 and will be included in the 'zero to less than $50k' turnover size range. Please refer to the explanatory notes for further information.

Revision of employment size data

Employment size data for 2017-18 has been revised in this CABEE release 2015-2019. Counts by employment size range for 2017-18 will not align to what was published in 2014-2018 CABEE. Please refer to the technical note for further information.

Inquiries

For further information about these and related statistics, please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070, or email client.services@abs.gov.au. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.