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QUALITY DECLARATION - SUMMARY
Limiting the scope only to businesses with a GST role means that only entities which are actively trading in goods or services are included. Businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) and/or have reported zero dollar amounts over five consecutive quarters (or three years in the case of annual remitters) are treated as long-term non–remitters (LTNRs). As these businesses are not actively remitting GST, they are considered not to be actively trading and are therefore excluded from counts.
This release includes businesses classified by:
Data were extracted from the ABSBR to provide a snapshot of actively trading businesses in June 2015, June 2016, June 2017, June 2018 and June 2019 and were released on 20 February 2020, approximately eight months after the end of the reference period. The next release of Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (cat. no. 8165.0) is currently scheduled for December 2020.
The counts in this release are intended to provide an accurate measure of actively trading businesses, that is, businesses that are producing or distributing goods or providing services (defined by a GST role) and are active (defined as having remitted GST within the past five quarters or three years in the case of annual remitters).
For non-profiled businesses, most classificatory data items reflect information provided to the ATO at the time of ABN registration. The exceptions are the payees information which is updated quarterly by the ATO, and employment and turnover, which is based on BAS reporting. In the profiled population, classificatory data items are updated based on significance and priority, including as a result of ABS survey feedback or other maintenance activity.
Counts in this release are subject to non–sampling error, and the cyclical administrative workflows of the ATO may impact on data interpretability. Non–sampling error arises from inaccuracies in collecting, editing and processing the data. Every effort was made to minimise non–sampling error by reviewing editing strategies and efficient data processing procedures. The counts are not subject to sampling error as they represent a complete enumeration of economically active businesses on the ABSBR.
There are a handful of known sources of error in these counts that may impact on the number of actively trading businesses reported. However, the ABS believes that these sources of error are likely to have a relatively small impact on the accuracy of the business counts contained in this release. For further information please refer to the Explanatory Notes.
An important definitional change introduced in the June 2007 to June 2011 release of Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (cat. no. 8165.0) resulted in a break in series with earlier releases. The scope of this release was changed to better reflect Australia's actively trading business population, and as such, it was necessary to rebase the publication tables and datacubes to 2007. As a result, the counts presented in this release are not comparable with the releases from 2007 and earlier. For further information, please see the Notes document linked to the left hand navigator box in the Summary tab of the June 2007 to June 2011 release.
The scope of this release is also significantly different to previously released (and now discontinued) ABS business counts publications:
In particular, this release only includes businesses that actively traded in goods or services during the reference period.
This release continues to provide business 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 size data indicate that most Australian businesses are small and that most of Australia's small businesses do not employ any staff. This means the counts in this release are heavily influenced by the entry and exit of businesses within Australia's small business sector. Therefore, this should be considered when comparing the data with other ABS statistics.
Estimates of the number of businesses operating in the Australian economy may be derived from a number of other sources within the ABS or from non-ABS sources. They may relate to a point in time, or may be average annual data. These estimates will not always show the same results. Variations occur because of the differing data sources, differing definitions of a business, differing scope and coverage as well as variations due to sampling and non-sampling errors. The definition of employing/non-employing in the ABS can also vary according to collection methodology, data sources, and user requirements.
Further information about scope and coverage, terminology and other technical aspects associated with these statistics can be found in documents linked to the left hand navigator box in the Summary and Explanatory Notes tabs of ABS cat. no. 8165.0.
Data and metadata are published on the ABS website in Excel spreadsheet and HTML webpage formats.
These documents will be presented in a new window.