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8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/09/2010   
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BUSINESS STRUCTURE AND ARRANGEMENTS


Foreign ownership

Businesses were asked to report their percentage of foreign ownership as at 30 June 2009, by selecting one of the four available options. A definition of foreign ownership was not specified and responses were not checked against any other data sources.

Percentage of foreign ownership(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Wholly Australian owned
98.3
97.9
94.0
67.9
97.7
Greater than 0% and less than 10%
0.3
0.3
0.5
2.7
0.3
10% to 50%
0.5
0.4
0.8
3.7
0.5
Greater than 50%
0.8
1.3
4.7
25.7
1.4

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) The sum of component items within employment size categories may not equal 100% due to rounding and/or provision of multiple responses, refer to Explanatory Note 17.


Overall, the majority of businesses reported being wholly Australian owned, at 98%. Proportions decreased with each successive employment size range; from 98% for businesses with 0-4 persons employed to 68% for businesses with 200 or more persons employed.

Businesses in the Mining industry were almost three times more likely to report some degree of foreign ownership than for any other industry, at 29%. By contrast, 11 of the 16 industries recorded foreign ownership at 2% or less.


Franchising agreements

Businesses were asked whether they were involved in any franchising agreement during the year ended 30 June 2009. Businesses could be identified as a franchisee (i.e. operated a franchise), franchisor (i.e. controlled a franchise system) or both.

Franchising agreements(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Franchisee (i.e.operated a franchise)
2.4
7.9
8.1
3.9
4.6
Franchisor (i.e. controlled a franchise system)
0.3
0.3
1.3
4.9
0.4

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Businesses could identify as both a franchisee and a franchisor.


Almost 5% of all businesses reported being involved in a franchisee agreement. The highest proportion of businesses that reported being a franchisee was in the 5-19 and 20-199 employment size ranges, both 8%. Businesses with 200 or more employees were most likely to have reported being a franchisor at 5%.

Businesses in Rental, hiring and real estate services, at 18%, were almost twice as likely to have reported being a franchisee than those in any other industry. The Retail trade industry had the second highest proportion (10%), followed by Accommodation and food services, and Transport, postal and warehousing (both 9%).


Collaborative arrangements

Businesses were asked to indicate if they were involved in collaborative arrangements with other businesses or organisations during the year ended 30 June 2009. Collaborative arrangements were defined as participation in joint projects with other businesses or organisations (including wider parts of the business's enterprise group), irrespective of potential commercial benefit. This included informal collaborative arrangements but excluded straight fee-for-service and franchise arrangements.

Collaborative arrangements(a), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Joint research and development
3.6
4.1
4.6
12.2
3.8
Joint buying
3.0
5.9
6.5
9.7
4.2
Joint production of goods or services
3.3
2.9
3.8
6.8
3.2
Integrated supply chain(b)
1.9
2.7
3.0
9.4
2.3
Joint marketing or distribution
5.3
9.3
10.9
16.0
7.0
Other collaborative arrangements
0.9
1.0
0.7
5.6
1.0
Any collaborative arrangements
11.4
16.5
17.9
36.5
13.6

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Integrated supply chain refers to ongoing coordinated activities between two or more businesses to maximise the storage and production efficiency of a mutual client.


Almost 14% of all businesses reported undertaking some type of collaboration during the year ended 30 June 2009. The most frequently reported type of collaboration was joint marketing or distribution, at 7%. Businesses that employed 200 or more persons were more than three times as likely to have undertaken collaboration than businesses with 0-4 persons employed.

At industry level, businesses in Wholesale trade and Information media and telecommunications were most likely to be involved in joint marketing or distribution arrangements, both 13%. Businesses in Information media and telecommunications and Mining (both 22%) were the most likely to be involved in some type of collaborative arrangement. By contrast, only two industries reported rates of less than 10% for involvement in collaborative arrangements i.e. Other services (8%) and Construction (7%).

Innovation-active businesses, at 22%, were almost three times as likely to be involved in some form of collaborative arrangement than non innovation-active businesses (8%).


Working arrangements

Businesses were asked to identify if they offered specific working arrangements, during the year ended 30 June 2009. The list was limited to those shown in the table and businesses were not required to report any other working arrangements.

Employee working arrangements(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Businesses offering:
flexible work hours (e.g. to enable employees to deal with non work issues)
46.3
64.7
63.5
80.9
53.5
ability to buy extra annual leave, cash out annual leave or take leave without pay
10.7
26.8
44.1
66.8
18.6
selection of own roster or shifts
19.9
26.1
25.9
31.0
22.3
job sharing
6.6
17.8
19.2
43.1
11.3
ability for staff to work from home
21.5
18.0
29.2
59.7
21.2
paid parental leave
2.4
5.0
13.0
47.2
4.3
flexible use of personal sick, unpaid or compassionate leave (e.g. to care for other people)
15.0
37.2
52.1
79.5
25.1

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of working arrangement and were not required to report working arrangements other than those listed.


Overall, the most frequently reported type of working arrangement offered to employees by businesses was flexible work hours, at 54%. This was more than twice the proportion of the next most commonly reported working arrangement, flexible use of personal sick, unpaid or compassionate leave (25%). The proportion of businesses offering paid parental leave to employees ranged from 2% of businesses that employed 0-4 persons, to 47% of businesses with 200 or more persons employed.

At industry level, the proportion of businesses reporting the ability for staff to work from home was highest in the Professional, scientific and technical services industry (49%), whereas the lowest was in the Accommodation and food services industry (7%). Health care and social assistance had the largest proportion of businesses reporting job sharing arrangements (26%), followed by Accommodation and food services (20%).


Intellectual property

Businesses were asked what methods were used to protect the business' intellectual property during the year ended 30 June 2009.

Intellectual property protection methods(a)(b), by employment size, 2008 - 09

0-4 persons
5-19 persons
20-199 persons
200 or more persons
Total
%
%
%
%
%

Patents
1.7
2.5
6.5
17.0
2.4
Registration of design
1.8
2.6
5.3
13.4
2.4
Copyright
7.0
12.4
18.5
40.4
9.8
Secrecy (c)
10.5
16.7
22.7
37.8
13.6
Complexity of product design
3.9
2.9
4.4
8.2
3.7
Any of the above methods
16.8
26.6
36.3
60.2
21.6
No intellectual property protection methods
83.2
73.4
63.8
39.8
78.4

(a) Proportions are of all businesses in each employment size category.
(b) Businesses could identify more than one type of intellectual property protection method.
(c) Secrecy includes electronic protection methods.


Overall, 22% of businesses reported they had some type of intellectual property protection method in place. The most commonly reported types of intellectual property protection used by businesses were secrecy (14%) and copyright (10%), whereas all remaining protection methods recorded 4% or less.

Businesses with 0-4 persons employed were least likely to use any of the protection methods, with the exception of complexity of product design, where the lowest proportion was among businesses with 5-19 persons employed.

At industry level, businesses reporting secrecy as an intellectual property protection method was most common in Financial and insurance services (29%), followed by Professional, scientific and technical services (24%). Patents (7%) and registration of design (6%) were most likely to be used by businesses in the Manufacturing industry.

Innovation-active businesses were more than three times as likely to use any intellectual property protection methods than non innovation-active businesses.


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