Latest release

Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits methodology

Reference period
June 2015 to June 2019
Released
20/02/2020
Next release Unknown
First release

Explanatory notes

Source

Counts of Australian Businesses including Entries and Exits (CABEE) presents counts of actively trading businesses in the Australian economy, as at June 30 for the past five years. The data used to produce these counts are extracted from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR). The ABSBR is populated using administrative data from ABN registrations recorded in the Australian Business Register (ABR), and business data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Data on the structures of large and complex businesses are also collected by ABS.

The results in this publication are based, in part on ABR data supplied by the Registrar to the ABS under the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 and ATO data supplied to the ABS by the ATO under the Taxation Administration Act 1953. These require that such data is only used for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the ABS. In addition, no individual information collected under the Census and Statistics Act 1905 is provided back to the Registrar or ATO for administrative or regulatory purposes. Any discussion of data limitations or weaknesses is in the context of using the data for statistical purposes, and is not related to the ability of the data to support the ABR or ATO’s core operational requirements.

Legislative requirements to ensure privacy and confidentiality of these data have been followed. Only people authorised under the Australian Bureau of Statistics Act 1975 have been allowed to view data about any particular firm in conducting these analyses. Results have been confidentialised in accordance with the Census and Statistics Act 1905, to ensure that they are not likely to enable identification of a particular person or organisation.

Further information regarding these Acts can be found at the Federal Register of Legislation website. Information about the ABR can be obtained from the ABR website and the ATO website.

ABS statistics draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence and is subject to the requirements of the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

Scope

Counts of businesses in this release include only actively trading businesses in the Australian market sector. Actively trading businesses are:

  • Type of Activity Unit (TAUs) from the profiled population.
  • ABNs from the non-profiled population that are actively remitting Goods and Services Tax (GST).
     

Statistical unit

For the purposes of CABEE, a business is defined as a legal entity engaging in productive activity and/or other forms of economic activity in the market sector. Such entities accumulate assets on their own account and/or hold assets on behalf of others, and may incur liabilities.

The economic activities of individuals are excluded (except where an individual engages in productive activity either as a sole trader or in a partnership or trust).

Businesses are considered to be engaging in productive activity where they have a Goods and Services Tax (GST) role and are actively remitting GST through Business Activity Statements (BAS).

Two-population model

The businesses on the ABSBR are separated using a two population model. The two populations are known as the profiled population and the non-profiled population. The main distinction between businesses in the two populations relates to the complexity of the business structure and the degree of intervention required to reflect the business structure for statistical purposes.

Non-profiled population

The vast majority of businesses included on the ABSBR are in the non-profiled population. Most of these businesses have simple structures that are suitable for ABS statistical purposes at the Australian Business Number (ABN) level. For the non-profiled population, one ABN equates to one business.

Profiled population

For a small number of businesses, the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS economic statistics purposes and the ABS maintains its own economic units structure through direct contact with businesses. These businesses constitute the profiled population and are represented by Type of Activity Unit’s (TAU’s). This population consists of large, complex and diverse groups of businesses.

A Type of Activity Unit (TAU) consists of one or more business entities, sub entities or branches of a business that can be grouped according to production activity, and can report a minimum set of data items. These TAUs are classified according to the industry of the main activity. The relationship between TAU’s and their associated legal entities (ABN’s) may be one-to-one, many-to-one, or one-to-many.

The statistical unit referred to as a 'business' consists of ABNs from the non-profiled population and TAUs from the profiled population.

Business activity statement (BAS)

Business Activity Statements (BAS) are reports that businesses lodge with the ATO on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. They include the amount the business earned, the amount of GST collected, the amount of GST credits on goods and services purchased, pay as you go (PAYG) tax instalments and other tax reporting obligations.

A business may still be counted as actively trading at the end of the financial year even if it has ceased operating if the associated ABN has not been cancelled and the business has remitted GST within the last five quarters (or three years for annual remitters).

Long-term non remitters (LTNRs)

Businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) and/or have reported zero dollar amounts over five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters) are treated as 'long-term non-remitters' (LTNRs). These businesses are not considered to be actively trading and are excluded from the counts as they are not remitting GST.

A business may be classified as a LTNR at the end of the reference period, and therefore be excluded from the count of actively trading businesses in CABEE, then resume remitting GST at a later date. Such a business may have been operating during the period it was classified as a LTNR, despite not remitting GST during this time. These businesses are counted as exits in the reference period they become a LTNR, and again as entries in the reference period they resume remitting GST.

Classification

Units on the ABSBR have been classified according to the Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia (SISCA) 2008, Type of Legal Organisation (TOLO) and Australian and New Zealand Industry Classification (ANZSIC) 2006. These classifications are used to determine whether a business unit is in scope of CABEE, and to publish counts.

For comparability, the ANZSIC, SISCA and TOLO codes that a business was classified to as of 30 June in the latest year of the publication are the codes that are used for that business for all years in this publication.

Standard institutional sector classification of Australia (SISCA)

SISCA is based on the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA08) institutional sector classification. Entities classified to the following categories of SISCA are excluded:

  • 2110 Reserve Bank of Australia
  • 3000 General Government
  • 5000 Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households
  • 6000 Rest of the World
     

The exclusion of the General Government institutional sector particularly impacts on counts for the Public Administration and Safety, Education and Training, and Health Care and Social Assistance ANZSIC divisions (O, P and Q respectively).

For more information users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

Type of legal organisation (TOLO)

TOLO indicates whether a business is part of the private or public sector, and the type of ownership structure it has. Entities classified to the following TOLO categories are excluded:

  • 26 Other Unincorporated Entities
  • 33 Foreign Government
     

In-scope TOLO classifications are grouped in the data published in CABEE based on the following concordance:

TOLO grouping in CABEE dataTOLO classification
Total Companies11 Proprietary Companies
12 Public Companies
13 Other Incorporated Entities
Sole Proprietors21 Sole Proprietor
Total Partnerships22 Family Partnership
23 Other Partnership
Trusts24 Trusts Regarded as Corporations
25 Other Trusts
Public Companies31 Government Companies
32 Other Government Entities

For more information users should refer to Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (cat. no. 1218.0).

    Industry

    Each business has been classified to a single ANZSIC 2006 industry class. The industry class allocated is the activity which provides the main source of industry value added (sales of goods and services, wages and salaries or number of employees as a proxy), which is generally based on a description provided by the business.

    Entities classified to the following 4 digit ANZSIC classes are excluded:

    • 6210 Central Banking
    • 711 Police Services
    • 7713 Fire Protection and Other Emergency Services
    • 9540 Religious Services
    • 9551 Business and Professional Associations
    • 9552 Labour Association Services
    • 9559 Other Interest Group Services n.e.c.
    • 9601 Private Households Employing Staff
    • 9602 Undifferentiated Goods-Producing Activities of Private Households for Own Use
    • 9603 Undifferentiated Service-Producing Activities of Private Households for Own Use
       

    For more information, users should refer to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (cat. no. 1292.0).

      Coverage

      There are actively trading businesses that have not registered for an ABN because they do not have any obligations under the Goods and Services Tax (GST) legislation. For example businesses that have turnover that is under the threshold for registration (currently $75,000) may choose not to apply for an ABN. These businesses have not been identified or quantified and are not included in the counts presented in this release.

      The scope for business counts includes some businesses that are yet to be coded by the ATO to an industry, sector and/or geographical area. Analysis conducted on these businesses indicates that, despite not having a complete set of classificatory data, these businesses were actively trading and also met the other scoping criteria of the collection. These actively trading businesses have been grouped together into ‘Currently Unknown’ or ‘No Usual Address’ codes in the data cubes.

      Counts for ‘Currently Unknown’ categories are included in the publication for completeness. However entry and exit rates and change percentage involving 'currently unknown' values are not published to ensure administrative changes are not misinterpreted.

        Geographical coverage

        Counts of businesses in CABEE are published at three geographical levels: Main State, Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) and Local Government Area (LGA). Main State is derived from business information on the ABSBR, while SA2 is part of the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

        The ASGS is a framework of all of the regions which the ABS and other organisations use to collect, release and analyse geographically classified statistics. The ASGS ensures that these statistics are comparable and geospatially integrated, and provides users with a coherent set of standard regions to access, visualise, analyse and understand statistics.

        For more information, users should refer to the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) (cat. no. 1270.0).

          Multi-location businesses

          Businesses can operate in more than one geographical location and be represented by a single ABN/TAU. These are referred to as multi-location businesses. For the purposes of this release, multi-location businesses are attributed to one geographical classification to prevent double counting of businesses. The individual locations of businesses with multiple sites are not available.

          The issues of geocoding multi location businesses are more pronounced in counts at smaller geographies, as multi location businesses will only be attributed to a single SA2/LGA. As such, it cannot be assumed that business counts at each geographical level reflect all business operations within that geography.

            Main state

            For businesses in the non-profiled population, main state is derived from the main business address. The main business address of a business relates to the physical address where the main business activity takes place. For businesses in the profiled population, main state is the state or territory with the highest employment. Therefore, for some businesses in the profiled population, main state is not necessarily the state or territory of the main business address.

              Statistical area level 2 (SA2)

              SA2s are medium-sized general purpose areas which represent a community that interacts together socially and economically. The SA2 is the smallest area for the release of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) business counts statistics.

              There are 2,310 SA2 regions covering the whole of Australia without gaps or overlaps. These include 18 non-spatial SA2 special purpose codes, comprising Migratory-Offshore-Shipping and No Usual Address for each State and Territory. SA2 data can be aggregated to larger geographical areas in the ASGS framework.

              SA2 data is only coded for businesses in the non-profiled population. Units in the profiled population (TAU’s) are included in “Currently Unknown” SA2 categories.

                Local government area (LGA)

                LGAs are special purpose areas which do not align directly with the ASGS. Their purpose is to represent a community that is administered by one local government council. LGAs are geocoded using the Geocoded National Address File (GNAF). LGA data is only coded for businesses in the non-profiled population.

                Units in the profiled population (TAU’s) are included in “No Usual Address” LGA categories.

                  How the data is processed

                  Time series

                  This release contains snapshots of counts of actively trading businesses at regular points in time. While data presented in this release were produced on a broadly similar conceptual basis to data presented in previous releases, users seeking to analyse change over time should be aware that there may have been methodological, classificatory, definitional, administrative and content changes between the different releases of CABEE.

                  Depending on the analysis being undertaken, these changes could adversely affect the comparability of CABEE data over time, and users are advised to consult the web pages of relevant releases to understand the nature and impact of such changes.

                    Updates to data

                    The ABSBR receives updated information when a business entity reports changes to either the ABR or the ATO, such as a new registration, revised classificatory information, or when the business entity reports changes in its business structure or activity. These reporting changes can impact upon the business entity's industry classification (ANZSIC), institutional classification (SISCA), legal classification (TOLO) or geographic classification. These changes to the ABSBR may generate updates to data previously published in earlier editions of CABEE.

                    Some of the revisions to currently unknown categories are attributable to updated classificatory information, such as ANZSIC, SISCA or geography, where this information did not previously exist for the business entity.

                      Accuracy

                      These counts are not subject to sampling error as they represent a complete enumeration of economically active businesses on the ABSBR. However they are subject to non-sampling error and the cyclical administrative workflows of the ATO may also impact on data interpretability. Revisions to data due to non-sampling error or updates to methodology will be included as a technical note on the relevant publication, and available in history of changes.

                        Concepts, sources and methods

                        Business events

                        Counts of active businesses are compared between consecutive years to identify business events, such as businesses that are entering and exiting the Australian economy, as well as businesses that continue to survive.

                          Business entry

                          A Business entry is counted when an actively trading business on the ABSBR at 30 June in the reference year, was not actively trading at 30 June the previous year. A business entry may occur when:

                          • a business registers for a GST role for the first time.
                          • a business recommences its GST role after it had been cancelled.
                          • a business recommences remitting BAS data after a period of becoming a Long Term Non Remitter (LTNR).
                          • a business moves into, or out of, the profiled population.
                             

                          Business exit

                          A Business exit is counted when an actively trading business on the ABSBR at 30 June the previous year is no longer actively trading at 30 June in the reference year. A business exit may occur when:

                          • all GST roles of a business are cancelled.
                          • a business ceases to remit GST for at least five consecutive quarters (or three consecutive years for annual remitters).
                          • a business moves out of, or in to, the profiled population.
                          • a business is sold and the ABN changes.
                          • a business is taken over or involved in a merger.
                             

                          Intra-year entries and exits

                          It is possible that a business can enter after 30 June in a given year and exit before 30 June in the following year. A small number of these instances occur in any given financial year. These businesses are not included in this publication.

                            Business survival

                            A surviving business is defined as a business on the ABSBR that is active at 30 June of the reference year and was also active at 30 June of the previous year.

                            Two types of survival tables are published in CABEE datacubes; businesses that were active in the first year captured by this release, and businesses that entered during the first year captured by this release, and have survived to consecutive years.

                            For business survival data cubes, changes in employment and turnover size ranges are not considered. That is, surviving businesses will remain classified to their original base year classification even when they have expanded or contracted. This is to more accurately reflect the survival rates for businesses in each strata classification.

                              Net movement of surviving businesses

                              Due to the nature of business growth/change with respect to location, employment and turnover, the movement between these strata are important characteristics in the classification and movement of businesses. For these variables, businesses are classified according to their size for the respective year for all datacubes and tables except survival tables.

                              The net movement of surviving businesses is calculated by taking the total inflow at the end of the financial year minus the total outflow at the end of the financial year. These counts are included in datacubes to quantify the change in counts of businesses within a financial year which are attributable to the movement of surviving businesses, not entries and exits to a strata.

                              The inflow at the end of a financial year is the count of surviving businesses that have moved into one size range out of another size range in a financial year (i.e. an employment or turnover size range). This does not include entries and exits.

                              The outflow is the count of surviving businesses that have moved out of a size range (i.e. an employment or turnover size range) and into another size range (for employment or turnover). This does not include entries and exits.

                                Employment size

                                A business which employs and pays a salary to (or plans to employ and pay a salary to) one or more persons, is required to register an Income Tax Withholding (ITW) role with the ATO. These businesses are required to withhold payments from salaries and wages from their employees and send the amounts to the ATO.

                                In the profiled population, businesses report employment to the ABS as the number of persons who receive remuneration in wages or salaries (including working proprietors and working partners), or are paid a retainer fee by their employer.

                                Employment excludes non-salaried directors, volunteers, persons paid by commission only, and self-employed persons such as consultants and contractors.

                                All businesses in the profiled population are considered to be employing units regardless of whether they have an active ITW role. TAUs which report an employment count of zero to the ABS are included in the 1-4 or 1-19 employment categories.

                                For the non-profiled population, businesses with an active ITW role which have remitted to the ATO at least once in the preceding five quarters (or three years for annual remitters) are considered to be employing units.

                                For these employing units, employment estimates are updated monthly or yearly, using reported BAS wages and salaries information from the ATO, and ABS survey information. These estimates are used to determine the employment size range of a business.

                                There are a small number of businesses which have an active ITW role for purposes other than withholding amounts from wages and salaries, and therefore have an employee count of zero. These businesses are included in the 1-4 or 1-19 employee categories. Conversely, there are a small number of businesses which do not have an active ITW role, however have an employee count above zero. These businesses are included in the non-employing category.

                                  Annual turnover size

                                  For businesses in the non-profiled population, annual turnover values are based on data reported to the ATO through Business Activity Statements (BAS). For businesses in the profiled population, annual turnover reported via BAS for ABNs is apportioned to the relevant TAU.

                                  Where businesses report zero values on their BAS or have failed to report at all, these data are compared with auxiliary BAS data, which are then used for the purposes of assigning annual turnover values for each in-scope business.

                                    Comparison with other business counts data

                                    Users comparing data from this release with other ABS data should do so with care, as some other ABS data may exclude non-employing businesses or particular industries or sectors. For further details see the methodology page in the relevant publication.

                                      Confidentiality

                                      There is a legislative requirement to protect the privacy of businesses and individuals represented in the data published by the ABS. In order to do this, a confidentialisation process has been applied to counts presented in CABEE to ensure no business or individual is able to be identified.

                                      This process is expected to maximise the availability of data without introducing any bias to the counts. It perturbs data in such a way that the data presented at detailed levels will not always be additive. That is, component values will not always sum to the total (both horizontally and vertically) due to perturbation. Each cell is individually perturbed, and the effect on individual cells is minimal.

                                      No data in datacube 1 has been subject to perturbation. In datacubes 2-11, all cells may have been subject to perturbation with the exclusion of high level totals. These totals include: industry division, state, employment size, turnover size and Australia totals. These counts are also found in datacube 1, and are included as unperturbed values in datacubes 2-11 to ensure any repeated counts are consistent between datacubes.

                                        History of changes

                                        Revisions to this release

                                        There are two known revisions to this release of CABEE:

                                        • Employment size data for 2017-18 has been revised in this release of Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2015 to June 2019. Counts by employment size range for 2017-18 will therefore not align to what was published in Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2014 to June 2018. Please refer to the technical note for further information.
                                        • In past releases of CABEE, businesses which have not reported, or have reported a zero amount, on their Business Activity Statement have been assigned an imputed turnover value. Where auxiliary BAS data were not available for imputation, an imputation based on other ABSBR data was used to determine turnover size range. This method only impacted a limited number of mostly smaller sized units. From 2018-19, these units are assigned a turnover value of $0, and are included in the “zero to less than $50k” turnover size range.
                                           

                                        Previous revisions

                                        CABEE 2014-2018

                                        • In 2018, there were updates to local government area (LGA) boundaries and the associated meshblock allocations. For comparability, from CABEE 2014-2018, businesses are allocated to LGA’s based on the updated boundaries for all years within the publication.
                                           

                                        CABEE 2013-2017

                                        • Two new datacubes were added to this release which present counts of businesses by Local Government Area (LGA) by Industry Division by employment and turnover sizes. These are datacubes 10 & 11 respectively.
                                        • There was a change in the definition of a ‘small business’ used in the Australian Taxation System. Updated turnover size ranges were introduced to CABEE datacubes to reflect this, affecting datacubes 3, 6, 7 and 9. This does not change the raw data, only the strata in which it is presented in the datacubes.
                                           

                                        CABEE 2012-2016

                                        • In 2016 the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS) was updated to ASGS 2016. From CABEE 2012-2016, businesses are allocated to geographical areas based on the ASGS 2016 for all years within the publication.
                                        • A new confidentialisation method was implemented in 2012-16 CABEE. The change was made to enhance the current process and utilise existing ABS infrastructure. The confidentialisation process applied maximises the availability of data without introducing any bias to the counts. It perturbs data in such a way that the data presented at detailed levels will not always be additive.
                                           

                                        CABEE 2009-2013

                                        • A new datacube, datacube 1, was added for this release. It includes tables 1-20 which were previously published in the PDF publication download. From this release, the PDF publication will no longer be created, instead the analysis and information can be found on the website.
                                        • The methodology used to derive the non-profiled population business counts for employment size changed in 2009-2013 CABEE to provide a more accurate representation of the size of businesses. A more detailed description of the methodology and its effects are described in Improved Employment Range (Technical Note) in 2009-2013 and 2010-2014 CABEE.
                                        • Prior to this release, the strata classification for all variables were held constant for all years within a publication, specifically the latest available data were used to represent a business for all periods within each release of CABEE. Due to the nature of business growth with respect to employment and turnover, it was identified that the movement between these strata are important characteristics in the classification and movement of businesses. From CABEE 2009-2013, for these two variables, businesses are classified according to the size for the respective year. This change resulted in the addition of Tables 14 & 18 to Datacube 1, and the inclusion of “Net movement of surviving businesses” to tables 13 and 17.
                                           

                                        CABEE 2007-2011

                                        • Two data cubes were added for this release which present counts of businesses by Industry division by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) by business size (employment size and annual turnover size ranges). These datacubes replaced those which previously showed counts of businesses by Statistical Division and Statistical Local Area.
                                        • In June 2010, the ABS implemented a new methodology for identifying annual long term non remitters (LTNRs). These are businesses that have not submitted a Business Activity Statement (BAS) for a defined period of time, and are considered dormant businesses and therefore excluded from the counts. This change has primarily resulted in an increase in business entries, as those businesses who would have previously been excluded have been brought back into scope, and therefore appear as business entries.

                                        Technical note - revision of employment data 2017-18

                                        The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) receives business information from multiple sources to populate the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR), including data from the Australian Business Register (ABR) and Australian Tax Office (ATO). Since the previous release some updated employee payment information for the 2017-18 financial year have become available from the ATO. As a result the classification of businesses in the employment size ranges in 2017-18 did not represent their employment at the time. This issue impacts counts for "Entries", "Net movement of surviving businesses", "Operating at the end of financial year" and "Change" for employing businesses in 2017-18, as well as the associated rates.

                                        In this release of CABEE, the counts of businesses by employment size range for the 2017-18 financial year have been revised in datacubes 1, 2, 8 and 10. The counts by "Employment size range" for the 2017-18 financial year will not align if compared to the previous release.

                                        Quality declaration - summary

                                        Institutional environment

                                        Statistics presented in this release have been derived using a combination of data collected directly by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) under the authority of the Census and Statistics Act 1905, tax data supplied to the Australian Statistician by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) under the Taxation Administration Act 1953 and Australian Business Register (ABR) data supplied by the Registrar under A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999. The Taxation Administration Act 1953 requires that such data are only used for the purpose of administering the Census and Statistics Act 1905 and the A New Tax System (Australian Business Number) Act 1999 requires that such data are only used for the purpose of carrying out functions of the ABS.

                                        For information on the institutional environment of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), including the legislative obligations of the ABS, financing and governance arrangements, and mechanisms for scrutiny of ABS operations, please see ABS Institutional Environment.

                                        Relevance

                                        This statistical release presents counts of Australian businesses, sourcing data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR). It includes information on the entry, exit, growth and survival rates of businesses.

                                        The scope includes all actively trading businesses that were operating in the Australian economy as at June 2015, June 2016, June 2017, June 2018 and June 2019. It is important to note that entities which are not considered to be actively trading in the market sector are not considered to be businesses and, as such, are excluded from the counts. Please refer to the explanatory note section for further information.

                                        Actively trading businesses are:

                                        • type of activity units (TAUs) from the profiled population (where activity is monitored by direct contact by ABS)
                                        • Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) from the non-profiled population, that are actively remitting in respect of a Goods and Services Tax (GST) tax role.
                                           

                                        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:

                                        Timeliness

                                        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.

                                        Accuracy

                                        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.

                                        Coherence

                                        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.

                                        Interpretability

                                        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 on the Topic and Methodology pages of ABS cat. no. 8165.0.

                                        Accessibility

                                        Data and metadata are published on the ABS website in Excel spreadsheet and HTML webpage formats.

                                        If the information you require is not available as a standard product, the ABS may have other relevant data available on request and for a charge. Please contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070. The ABS Privacy Policy outlines how the ABS will handle any personal information that you provide to us.