8168.0.55.001 - Microdata: Business Characteristics, Australia, 2008-09 to 2012-13 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/07/2016   
   Page tools: Print Print Page Print all pages in this productPrint All



The BLD CURF is released under the provisions of the Census and Statistics Act 1905. The Act allows for the release of data in the form of unit records where the information is not likely to enable the identification of a particular person or organisation. Accordingly, there are no names or addresses of survey respondents on the BLD CURF, and other steps have been taken to protect the confidentiality of respondents. These include:

  • Perturbing (value adjustment) of all BAS data for all businesses.
  • Perturbing of reported employment data for businesses which report below 100 persons.
  • Top coding reported employment data for businesses which report 100 persons or more.
  • Reducing the level of detail shown on the BLD CURF for some data items. For example, some data items collected in the survey have been omitted, collapsed with other data items, or presented in ranges.
  • Changes to some data item values for a very small number of businesses with rare characteristics.
  • Top coding Imports and Exports data for businesses which report $500,000 or more.

Users should be aware that the methodology applied to perturb financial and employment data does not impact on the comparability between selected businesses within a time period or over time.

Steps to confidentialise the data made available on the BLD CURF are designed to ensure the integrity of the dataset and optimise its content, while maintaining the confidentiality of respondents. Users intending to apply for access to the CURF should ensure that the data they require, at the level of detail they require, are available on the BLD CURF prior to submitting their application. The Data Item List for the BLD CURF is provided in Excel Spreadsheet format from the Downloads tab of this publication.


In using the data in the BLD CURF for analysis, it is important to understand how the ABS classifies businesses for statistical purposes. Statistical units are those entities from which statistics are collected, or about which statistics are compiled. In ABS economic statistics, the statistical unit is generally the business. The ABSBR is used to record information about statistical units and is used to create the frames for most ABS economic collections.

The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABSBR to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. Within large, complex and diverse business groups, the units model is used to define reporting units that can provide data to the ABS at suitable levels of detail.

This units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations:
  • Businesses with a simple structure - Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN). They are then included on the whole-of-government register of businesses, the Australian Business Register (ABR), which is maintained by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS has aligned its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO maintained population (ATOMP), and the ABN unit is used as the statistical unit for all integrated ABS economic collections.
  • Businesses with a complex structure - For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS maintains its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS maintained population (ABSMP). This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses. For businesses in the ABSMP, statistical units comprise the Enterprise Group, the Enterprise and the Type of Activity Unit (TAU). The range of activities across the Enterprise Group can be very diverse. The TAU represents a grouping of one or more business entities within the Enterprise that cover all of the operations within an industry subdivision and for which a basic set of financial, production and employment data can be reported.

Together these two sub-populations (of ABN units and TAUs) make up the ABSBR population.