12. The objective when developing an industrial classification is to identify groupings of businesses which carry out similar economic activities. Subject to certain criteria being met, each such grouping defines an industry and the similar economic activities which characterise the businesses concerned are referred to as activities primary to that industry. When the classification is completed, any individual business can then be assigned an appropriate industry category on the basis of its predominant activities.
13. The specific criteria for defining ANZSIC industries are elaborated below under the heading of Classification Principles.
14. The term business is used in its widest sense to include any organisation which provides goods and services, including companies, non-profit organisations, government departments and enterprises.
15. Businesses in the Australian and New Zealand statistical systems are represented by a hierarchy of units reflecting the complexity in the operating structure of many businesses. The lowest level unit in this hierarchy for which business accounts are kept is referred to as the establishment in the Australian system and the accounting unit in the New Zealand system. This unit comprises one or more locations from which the business operates. The design of the ANZSIC has been based on this unit although it can be and is used to classify other units in the hierarchy of business statistical units.
16. While the design of the ANZSIC is based on businesses, and it is used to classify businesses, it can also be used to classify other kinds of statistical units. Statistical units are the basic entities about which data are recorded, aggregated and published in official statistics. As well as businesses, examples of statistical units include motor vehicles, building sites, persons, households and families.