1218.0 - Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (Version 1.1)  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2013   
   Page tools: Print Print Page


Australian Business Number (ABN)

A unique business entity identifier used by businesses in their dealings with the Australian government.

ABS business register

A list of all Australian businesses and other organisations which contains identifying and classificatory data.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC)

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) has been jointly developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and Statistics New Zealand (Statistics NZ). An industrial classification is one way to organise data about business units. It provides a standard framework under which business units carrying out similar productive activities can be grouped together, with each resultant group referred to as an industry.

Artificial subsidiary

A subsidiary corporation with productive activities strictly confined to providing services to its parent corporation or other corporations in the same enterprise group. They are not treated as separate institutional units for statistical purposes.

Australian Business Register (ABR)

The list of entities registered for an ABN with the Australian Business Registrar. This list is maintained by the Registrar and is accessible to other government agencies and to businesses.

Centre of economic interest

An institutional unit has a centre of economic interest in Australia if it owns and/or operates a place of production within Australia's economic territory, or intends to operate for a year or more.


The ability of one entity to determine another entity's financial and operating policies which relate particularly to the entity's strategic or long-term directions.


A legal entity, created for the purpose of producing goods and services for the market, that may be a source of profit or other financial gain to its owner(s). It is collectively owned by shareholders who have the authority to appoint directors responsible for its general management.

Economic territory of Australia

The geographic area under the effective control of the Australian Government. It includes the land area, airspace, territorial waters, and the continental shelf lying in international waters for which Australia has jurisdiction. It includes Norfolk Island, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island, and Australian embassies, consulates, military bases and similar enclaves located in other countries.

Enterprise group

A statistical unit covering all the operations in Australia of legal entities under common control.

Financial corporation

A corporation or notional institutional unit that is mainly engaged in financial intermediation or the provision of auxiliary financial services.

Government units

Legal entities established by political processes that have legislative, judicial or executive authority over other institutional units in a given area. They are financed mainly from taxation or government transfers and are principally involved in the provision of goods and services free of charge or at economically insignificant prices.


A group of persons who share the same living accommodation, who pool some, or all, of their income and wealth and who consume certain types of goods and services collectively, mainly housing and food.

Household unincorporated enterprise

An unincorporated enterprise that is owned by members of a household and is therefore included as part of the household.

Institutional unit

The basic statistical unit that is classifiable by sector. It is defined as an economic entity that is capable, in its own right, of owning assets, incurring liabilities and engaging in economic activities and transactions with other entities.

Legal entity

The statistical unit which:
(1) is classified to institutional sector;
(2) is the ABS unit closest in concept to the SNA08 institutional unit, and;
(3) is defined as a unit covering all the operations in Australia of an entity that possesses some or all of the rights and obligations of individual persons or corporations; or that behaves as such, in respect of those matters of concern for economic statistics.


A single unbroken physical area occupied by an organisation at which, or from which, the organisation is engaged in productive activity on a relatively permanent basis. A location also exists where the organisation is undertaking capital expenditure with the intention of commencing productive activity on a relatively permanent basis at some time in the future.

Market operator

An entity which produces goods or services for the market which are sold at economically significant prices aimed at making a profit.

Non-market operator

An entity which produces goods and services but does not have the primary goal of making profit, increasing market share or influencing market prices or market behaviour. The costs of its economic activities are generally covered by the receipt of material financial support in the form of transfers such as grants and donations.

Non-profit institution (NPI)

A legal entity which:
(1) is created for the purpose of producing goods and services, and;
(2) whose articles of association prohibit it from being a source of income, profit or other financial gain to the units that establish, control or finance the legal entity.

Non-profit institutions serving households (NPISH)

Non-profit institutions which are not controlled by government and which provide goods or services to households for free or at prices that are not economically significant. Examples include churches and religious societies, sports and other clubs, trade unions and political parties.

Non-resident unit

A unit whose centre of economic interest is outside the economic territory of Australia.

Notional institutional units

Units which do not exist as separate legal entities from their owners, and therefore are not institutional units in their own right, but operate autonomously and keep a full set of accounts.

Private sector

The combination of the household sector, the NPISH sector and all resident corporations and quasi-corporations not controlled by the general government sector.

Producing units

Statistical units which:
(1) are owned and financed by institutional units;
(2) are so named because they exercise a degree of control over production activities, and;
(3) comprise type of activity based units.

Public sector

The combination of the general government sector, and all resident corporations and quasi-corporations controlled by the general government sector.


A notional institutional unit which engages in market production.

Resident unit

An institutional unit that has a centre of economic interest within the economic territory of Australia as evidenced by the location of a place of production.

Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA)

A classification of institutional units which provides a framework for dividing the Australian economy into institutional sectors. These sectors group units which have similar economic functions and structural characteristics.

Statistical units

Units about which statistics are tabulated, compiled or published.

Subsidiary corporation

A legal entity controlled by a parent legal entity.

Type of activity unit (TAU)

A producing unit comprising one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity that can report production and employment activities.

Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO)

The Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) classification is used to classify institutional units according to the type of legal organisation that best describes their structure.

Back to top of the page