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8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2003 to Jun 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/2007   
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MEDIA RELEASE
December 14, 2007
Embargoed 11.30 am (AEDT)
131/2007
Over 2 million businesses in Australia: ABS
    The number of actively trading businesses in Australia has passed the two million mark, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    There were 2,011,770 businesses in Australia as at June this year, up 2.4% on the previous year.

    In net terms business growth in 2006-07 was at its strongest level since data was first collected four years ago. The combined effects of a higher entry rate (17.0%) and a lower exit rate (14.6%) for the period were reasons behind the net growth. The exit rate was the lowest recorded over the four year period of the survey.

    The vast majority of Australian businesses are classified as small business based on either their employment or turnover. In June 2007 there were:
      • 1.93 million businesses (96% of the total) that employed less than 20 people. (This includes 1.2 million businesses who did not employ staff.);
      • 1.89 million businesses (94% of the total) that had an annual turnover of less then $2 million.
    Business survival

    Over half (58%) of the (1,868,969) businesses operating in June 2003 were still operating four years later. Of the 777,106 businesses which did not survive, 36% exited during 2003-04, 27% during 2004-05, 20% during 2005-06 and the remaining 16% during 2006-07.

    Nearly half (49%) of the (325,935) business entries in 2003-04 were still operating in June 2007. Of the 167,434 businesses which did not survive, 48% had exited during 2004-05, 33% during 2005-06 and the remaining 19% during 2006-07.

    Over the short to medium term, business survival is strongly related to the age of the business. The longer a business survives, the greater its chances of continuing survival.

    Despite the large number of non-employing businesses it is more likely that a non-employing business will fail. Of the new entries in 2003-04, 49% of non-employing businesses were still operating in June 2007, compared with 71% of employing businesses.

    Further details can be found in Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (cat. no. 8165.0).

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