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The business unit about which information is published is business entities which have an Australian Business Number (ABN).
Classification by Industry
The industry classification being used is the 1993 edition of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) (Cat. no. 1292.0). Each business entity is classified to a single industry based on either a description of activities which has been provided by businesses on registration forms, or from information on types of activities of businesses, held by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).
ANZSIC coding for non-employing entities had not been completed at 30 October 2000. Therefore, the industry classification given to non-employers is based ANZSIC where available, otherwise it was calculated from the industry box ticked by business entity on their ABN registration form.
ANZSIC coding for non-employing entities had been largely completed by 30 June 2001. Nearly all business entities on the Australian Business register are now ANZSIC coded. The completion of ANZSIC coding makes comparison of ABN counts by industry between October 2000 and June 2001 difficult and potentially unreliable for non employing ABNs.
Table (a) Detailed industry tables
Counts of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) as at June 2001 by State, Territory and Australia by Turnover size range for all 465 ANZSIC Industry Classes, 158 ANZSIC Industry Groups, 53 ANZSIC Industry Subdivisions and 17 ANZSIC Industry Divisions.
ABNs are included in this table if actively registered for GST and only operating from within one state or territory.
As at June 2001, this table includes both employing and non-employing ABNs. In October 2000 this table included employers only as there was insuffient ANZSIC Industry coding done on the ABR for non employing units at that time.
Table (b) Postcode tables
Counts of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) as at June 2001 by Postcode, State, Territory and Australia by Turnover size range for all 17 ANZSIC Industry Divisions. Postcodes that cross state or territory borders can be split to obtain precise state counts. This table includes employing and non-employing ABNs.
ABNs are included in this table if actively registered for GST and only operating from one location.
ABNs are classified to the postcode of its business address which would normally be the ABNs head office address. The ABN may have a separate postal address (e.g. PO Box) which was not used to determine its postcode for this table.
The postcode for each ABN was checked for validity from Australia Post lists current for May 2001. Those ABNs in the extract without a current geographical postcode were corrected where possible from related information held for that ABN.
Completeness of the ABR data
Information for the registration process was supplied to the ABR by businesses either electronically through the Australian Government Business Entry Point or through the return of registration forms manually completed by registrants. Data from the registration forms has been scanned and loaded to the ABR. The data are presented on an 'as registered' basis. This means that limited editing of data occurred. Address details were corrected to ensure allocation of ABNs to States could be undertaken. This only occurred where enough information was provided in the address to derive the correct postcode or State.
Where fields were blank on the ABR registration forms they have been included in the 'not stated' category. Blank fields are mostly the result of questions not being completed on the registration forms.
Ongoing data quality work is being undertaken by the ABR to reduce the number of blank fields.
Comparability of Aus tralian Business Register (ABR) and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Business Counts
The unit being counted in the data supplied on the ABR is business entities which have registered for an ABN. The way in which 'businesses' can register for an ABN affects the numbers presented. Business counts previously issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) differ from the numbers supplied from the ABR for a number of reasons. An explanation for these differences lies in the respective definitions of a business.
ABR definitions The definitions provided for registering for an ABN on the ABR are provided in the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 . To be entitled to an ABN a business must be:
An entity (defined in Section 37 of the Act) means an individual (sole trader), a body corporate, a corporation sole, a body politic, a partnership, an unincorporated association or body of persons, a trust or a superannuation fund. An enterprise (defined in Section 38 of the Act) covers various activities but does not include hobbies. It includes the activities of entities such as charities, deductible gift recipients, and religious and government organisations. Activities which constitute an enterprise are those done:
It is the business entity that receives an ABN. An entity will receive one ABN regardless of the number of commercial activities or enterprises it undertakes. However, if the enterprise is carried on by a number of different entity types, each entity must register in its own right.
For example, if a single entity is currently operating a cafe, a takeaway food delivery service and a newsagency, from different premises, it will have one ABN that covers all of these activities. A similar business enterprise with a different legal structure, may have more than one ABN. An enterprise such as a professional practice may be conducted by several entities, including, a corporations law company responsible for the day-to-day business operations, a trust which owns the building and a trust which pays for all the business services provided to the corporations law company. Each entity within the structure is required to register individually for an ABN. A large diversified enterprise may have many ABNs some of which may be employing and others non-employing.
ABS definitions The ABS maintains a register of employing businesses containing information which is used to determine the population for many ABS surveys. The business unit about which information is collected and published by the ABS is the ‘management unit’. This is the highest level unit within a business which controls its productive activities and a set of management accounts are maintained. In most cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (ie company, partnership, trust, sole operator, etc.). However, in the case of large diversified businesses there are often a number of management units, each coinciding with a 'division' or 'line of business'. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it. The management unit structure for large complex enterprises will not necessarily coincide with the way in which an enterprise registers with the ABR for ABNs.
The scope of the ABS business register is based around the concept of employing businesses. Employing businesses have been defined, in the past, as those clients of the ATO with a current relationship as a Group Employer taxpayer. An employing business is currently defined as one having an active ITW role with the ATO.
The ABS register does not contain information relating to non-employers, except for Agriculture units. Therefore, counts of businesses previously produced by the ABS from its business register have in the main not contained numbers of non-employers.
The ABS has also produced counts of small businesses which are derived from the ABS Labour Force Survey estimates of own account workers (ie people working in their own business without employees). These data do not include:
The data presented in the tables have been confidentialised to ensure no individual business entity can be identified. A threshold is applied to the number of business entities contributing to each cell of data. Where the threshold is not met, the data are not published. Other cells of data in the table which may or may not have met the threshold are also suppressed to ensure the business entities cannot be identified from the totals.
ABR Data Available on Request
Data requests in addition to the above will be referred to the Business Frames Statistical Output Section and treated on an individual basis.
If you require further information about the statistics in this report, please contact the consultant responsible for preparing the data or the ABS office in your capital city. Contact details for ABS Offices are provided in the ‘ For more information’ section at the end of this report.
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