8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2003 to Jun 2007  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/2007   
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Australian Business Number (ABN)

The ABN is a unique business entity identifier introduced to assist with dealing with the Australian government. An entity is entitled to an ABN if its meets one of the following criteria:

  • carrying on an enterprise in Australia or in the course of furtherance of carrying on an enterprise, you make supplies that are connected with Australia;
  • a Corporations Act Company;
  • a Government entity, a non-profit sub-entity or a superannuation fund as if it were an entity carrying on an enterprise in Australia; or
  • a religious practitioner.

The ABN is the statistical unit used to represent businesses, and for which statistics are reported, in most cases. The ABN unit is the business unit which has registered for an ABN, and thus appears on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) administered ABR. In most cases, the ABN unit represents the legal entity. This unit is suitable for ABS statistical needs when the business is simple in structure. For more significant and diverse businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical needs, the statistical unit used is the Type of Activity Unit (TAU).

Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR)

The ABSBR is a register of all Australian businesses and contains identifying and classificatory data for each business. Information to populate the register is largely sourced from the ABR. The ABSBR is used as a source for survey frames and counts.

The ABSBR consists of two sub-populations, the Australian Bureau of Statistics maintained population (ABSMP) and the Australian Tax Office maintained population (ATOMP). The ABSBR uses an economic statistics unit model to describe the characteristics of businesses and the structural relationships between related businesses. For details, refer to paragraphs 7 to 11 of the Explanatory Notes.


The statistical unit referred to as a "business" consists of ABNs from the ATOMP and TAUs from the ABSMP.

Business Entry

A business which has newly registered for an ABN and which has a GST role allocated. Business entry rates are calculated by taking the total business entries during a financial year divided by the total businesses operating at the start of the financial year, multiplied by 100.

Business Exit

A business for which the ABN or GST role has been cancelled and/or which has ceased to remit GST for at least five consecutive quarters. Business exit rates are calculated by taking the total business exits during the financial year divided by the total businesses operating at the start of the financial year, multiplied by 100.

It should be noted that a business exit event does not necessarily equate to a business "failure". For details, refer to paragraph 31 of the Explanatory Notes.

Business Survivor

A business which was actively trading in year xx and continued to be trading in year xx+n.

Closing stock

The count of businesses operating at the end of the financial year.

Employment size ranges

For the purposes of the Counts of Australian Businesses including Entries and Exits publication, businesses are categorised as:

  • employing businesses:
      • employment of 200 or more persons ("large employing businesses");
      • employment of 20 to fewer than 200 persons ("medium employing businesses");
      • employment of fewer than 20 persons ("small employing businesses"); or
      • non-employing businesses.

In the ATOMP, businesses with an active ITW role are considered to be employing, resulting in some employing businesses having zero employment.

Employing businesses in the ATOMP that have not remitted Business Activity Statement (BAS) data for their ITW role for five consecutive quarters prior to the reference period are deemed to be long term non-remitters. These businesses are counted as non-employing businesses.

Industry (ANZSIC)

Businesses have been classified according to their description of activities. Businesses are coded to industries in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1993 (ANZSIC93) which is a classification system for grouping producing businesses (of both goods and services) in Australia and New Zealand to permit comparability of data. Within ANZSIC, there is a structure comprising four levels ranging from industry division (broadest level) to the industry class (finest level). For more information, users should refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 1993 (cat. no. 1292.0).

Industry class

At the industry class level, the activities of businesses are narrowly defined and recognised by a four-digit code, (e.g. Industry Class 2331 for Pulp, Paper and Paperboard Manufacturing).

Industry division

The main purpose of the industry division level is to provide a limited number of categories which give a broad overall picture of the economy. There are 17 divisions within ANZSIC93 each identified by an alphabetical letter, that is, 'A' for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing, 'B' for Mining, 'C' for Manufacturing, etc.

Industry group

This is the intermediate level within an industry division of ANZSIC and is recognised by a three-digit code, (e.g. Industry Group 233 for Paper and Paper Product Manufacturing). It gives more detail than the industry subdivision and is created in a way that groups like industry classes together.

Industry subdivision

This is the broadest level category within an industry division of ANZSIC and is recognised by a two-digit code, (e.g. Industry Subdivision 23 for Wood and Paper Product Manufacturing). Industry subdivisions are built up from industry groups which, in turn, are built up from industry classes.

Main business address

The main business address of a business relates to the physical address where the main business activity takes place. The individual addresses of businesses with multiple locations are not available.

Main State

For businesses in the ATOMP, Main State refers to the state or territory of the main business address. For businesses in the ABSMP, Main State refers to the state or territory with the highest employment.


Refers to those businesses which operate from locations in more than one state or territory.

Non-employing business

A business without an active ITW role or which has not remitted ITW for five consecutive quarters.

Opening stock

The count of businesses operating at the beginning of the financial year.


Refers to a business which operates from locations in only one state or territory.

Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA)

The SISCA is the central classification among ABS' Standard Economic Sector Classifications. It is based on the System of National Accounts 1993 (SNA93) institutional sector classification, and includes the following sectors: non-financial corporations, financial corporations, general government, households, non-profit institutions serving households, and rest of the world (which includes only non-resident units, these being excluded from all other sectors). For more information, users should refer to the Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA) (cat. no. 1218.0).

Statistical Local Area

The Statistical Local Area (SLA) is a general purpose spatial unit. It is the base spatial unit used to collect and disseminate statistics other than those collected from the Population Censuses. In non-census years, the SLA is the smallest unit defined in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC). In census years, an SLA consists of one or more whole Collection Districts (CDs). In aggregate, SLAs cover the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps.

SLAs are based on the boundares of incorporated bodies of local government where these exist. These bodies are the Local Government Councils and the geographical areas which they administer are known as Local Government Areas (LGAs). An LGA is an SLA if it fits entirely within an Statistical Subdivision (SSD) and is broadly similar in size, economic significance and user needs for statistics to other LGAs in Australia.


The total revenue generated by a business from the provision of goods and services for a given accounting period.

Type of Activity Unit (TAU)

The TAU, residing in the ABSMP, is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an enterprise group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities when a minimum set of data items are available. For further information, refer to paragraphs 9-10 of the Explanatory Notes.

Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO)

All legal entities on the ABSBR are classified according to their TOLO. Examples of types of legal entities recognised for statistical purposes are companies, partnerships, trusts, sole proprietorship, government departments and statutory authorities. TOLO indicates whether a business is part of the private or government sector and the type of ownership structure it has.