8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits , Jun 2007 to Jun 2011  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 31/01/2012   
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This publication presents counts of businesses sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR).

This publication represents the third update to Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, initially released in February 2007.

This series replaces all previous business counts releases, which can be found on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au>.

This publication provides new business counts, entries, exits and survival information as at June 2011. The scope of business counts is limited to businesses actively remitting in a GST role. This publication continues to provide counts by selected demographics including industry, geography, institutional sector, type of legal organisation and business size. Business size data is provided by selected annual turnover and employment size ranges. These (employment) data indicate that most Australian businesses are small (95.9%) and that most of Australia's small businesses do not employ any staff (63.9%). The counts in this release are heavily influenced by entry and exits within Australia's small business sector. Users should take this into account when interpreting results, including when comparing these data with other ABS statistics.

There have been some changes to this publication compared with the previous release. In June 2010, the ABS implemented a new methodology for identifying annual long term non remitters (LTNRs). These are businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) for a defined period of time, and are considered dormant businesses and therefore excluded from the counts. For annual remitters, this LTNR period has been increased from 5 consecutive quarters to 3 consecutive years. This administrative change has resulted in a noticeable and identifiable increase in the business counts at June 2010. More specifically, it has led to an increase in business entries, as those businesses who would have previously been excluded have been brought back into scope, and therefore appear as business entries. For example, the entries for June 2009 are 299,123. This then spikes to 342,753 in June 2010, and reverts to 294,210 in June 2011. Further investigations reveal that at a minimum, 21,000 of these June 2010 entries can be attributed to the new LTNR methodology, and the majority are clustered in the non-employing size category. As such, users should exercise care when interpreting the 2010 business counts.

A range of enhancements to the data have also been made to improve the relevance of the publication over time. This includes the provision of geographical data using the new Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS). While State data will remain unchanged, Sub State data will now be provided using the new geographical framework. Further, Institutional sector data is now provided using the 2008 Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA). As a result of the change from SISCA 2006 to SISCA 2008, there have been some minor revisions made to the previously published 2007, 2008 and 2009 counts. For further information on these classification changes, please refer to the publication's explanatory notes.

This publication will be followed by the release of a range of detailed Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits data cubes. Each of these data cubes will contain industry, geographical and business size dimensions, and offer users access to more detailed cross-classifications. Due to the fine level information presented, each data cube will be confidentialised to ensure no individual business can be identified. There have been some enhancements to the confidentiality methodology applied in this release. The new process involves rounding less cells and therefore preserving as much true data as possible, whilst still maintaining confidentiality of all businesses. The data cubes are expected to be released from March 2012.

It is planned to continue releasing updated counts, including entries and exits, on an annual basis. The next release of Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits is currently scheduled for release in May 2013.

The ABS welcomes feedback from users of these business counts.

To provide feedback or for further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or email <client.services@abs.gov.au>.