8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, Jun 2011 to Jun 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/02/2016   
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26 February 2016
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

Business numbers on the rise again

The number of actively trading businesses in Australia has increased for the second year in a row, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Although there was actually a small drop in the number of new business registrations, fewer businesses closed, giving a total rise of one per cent in business numbers - an additional 21,000 businesses for 2014-15," said Mike Booth from the ABS.

"Victoria saw the largest number of new businesses, while Tasmania was the only state to see a fall in total business numbers.

"Tasmania's fall was influenced by the agricultural sector; Tasmania has the highest proportion of agricultural businesses, and agricultural business numbers have been in a prolonged decline. Nationally, we've seen the total number of agricultural businesses falling by ten per cent from 2011.

"South Australia and Queensland also have a high proportion of agricultural businesses, and they, like Tasmania, have recorded falls in business numbers since 2011.

"Finance and insurance services were the fastest growing sector, but this was almost entirely driven by superannuation funds," said Mr Booth.

Companies and trusts continue to be highly represented in Australian business structures, making up over 60 per cent of all businesses, while partnerships and sole proprietors continue to decrease.

Construction continues to have the most businesses operating, with 345,479 in operation in 2014-15.

Health care and social assistance has the highest rate of business survival, with nearly 75 per cent of businesses surviving over a four year period.

Further details can be found in Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits (cat. no. 8165.0), available for free download from the ABS website https://www.abs.gov.au

Media note:
    • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
    • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070 (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).