This report brings together the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Austrade data to present a statistical report of the small business sector. It shows the contribution of the small business sector to the Australian economy.
Its purpose is to be an information resource for governments, public policy makers and researchers that will improve their knowledge and understanding of the Australian small business sector. The report is data-based and does not comment on the policy issues or concerns of the small business sector. It simply sets the scene to give all stakeholders a common understanding of the significance of small business contribution to economic activity.
The data and graphs in this report are based on the ABS definition of a small business: a business with an Australian Business Number (ABN) and having Goods and Services Tax (GST) activity with a turnover of less than $2 million per annum (p.a.), or one that employs less than 20 people. There is a rough approximation between these two measures, but they are not identical. Accordingly, there are minor differences in the counts of Australian small businesses depending upon whether the turnover or employee definition of a small business is used.
In this report, unless otherwise stated, the term ‘small businesses’ will include micro businesses, which are defined by the ABS as GST paying enterprises employing 0-4 employees. However, unless otherwise stated, the data counts do not include extremely small businesses which have an ABN, but are not GST active and have no employees; it also excludes self-managed superfunds. We have termed these ‘nano’ businesses.