Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits

Latest release

Counts of actively trading businesses, rates of entry to and exit from the market sector of the economy, and rates of business survival

Reference period
July 2019 - June 2023

Key statistics

At 30 June 2023 there were 2,589,873 actively trading businesses in the Australian economy.

In 2022-23 there was a: 

  • 0.8% or 19,973 increase in the number of businesses
  • 15.8% entry rate, with 406,365 entries
  • 15% exit rate, with 386,392 exits

Entries and exits

The number of actively trading businesses in this release differs from the total number of entities with an Australian Business Number (ABN).

A table of the conceptual and practical basis of counts is published in the Methodology publication detailing how these counts differ.


In 2022-23 the three industries with the largest net increase in businesses were:

  • Health Care and Social Assistance (increase of 10,721 to 185,260 businesses)

  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing (increase of 5,040 to 218,662 businesses)

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical services (increase of 4,960 to 336,214 businesses)

The industry with the largest net decrease in businesses in 2022-23 was:

  • Retail Trade (decrease of 2,211 to 155,755 businesses)

States and territories

In 2022-23 there was a:

  • 11,031 increase in the number of businesses in Queensland, the largest net increase in any state/territory
  • 7,606 decrease in the number of businesses in Victoria, the only state/territory to decrease

Institutional sector

In 2022-23 there was a:

  • 5.1% (4,659) increase in financial corporations, to 96,082 total
  • 3.3% (35,095) increase in non-financial corporations to 1,109,777 total
  • 1.4% (19,713) decrease in households to 1,381,741 total

Households accounted for 53.4% of all businesses, the largest of any institutional sector.

Type of legal organsiation

In 2022-23 total companies had the largest net growth of any type of legal organisation, increasing by 42,246 businesses, or 4.0% to 1,094465 total. This was driven by births of total companies, with 137,164 entries

There was also a:

  • 3.8% (8,790) decrease in partnerships to 223,048 total
  • 1.7% (42,246) decrease in sole proprietors to 784,744 total

Employment size

In 2022-23 the number of non-employing businesses increased by 2.3% (35,542), with a net movement of 35,509 surviving businesses from employing to non-employing.

There was also a:

  • 8.8% (5,204) increase in businesses with 20-199 employees to 64,559 total
  • 8.0% (362) increase in businesses with 200+ employees to 4,895 total

  • 3.5% (25,292) decrease in businesses with 1-4 employees to 703,467 total

Quarterly experimental counts

In the June quarter 2023 there was a:

  • 1.5%, or 37,063 increase in the number of businesses
  • 4.8% entry rate, with 122,749 entries
  • 3.4% exit rate, with 85,686 exits
  • 0.9% (13,781) increase in non-employing businesses and 0.2% (-2,432) decrease in total employing businesses

For more information on the methodological differences between the quarterly and annual counts, see the Technical note.

Industry subdivision

In the June quarter 2023, the subdivisions with the largest quarterly net increase in businesses were:

  • Construction Services (4,527 businesses or 1.4%)
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (Except Computer System Design and Related Services) (3,987 businesses or 1.5%)
  • Postal and Courier Pick-up and Delivery Services (3,350 businesses or 7.3%)

Seasonally adjusted data

There is a strong seasonal pattern in the counts of Total Businesses, Business Entries and Business Exits. To assist in distinguishing between short-term trends and the seasonal patterns, seasonally adjusted counts have been prepared for these headline figures. For more information, see the Methodology.

In the June 2023 quarter, in seasonally adjusted terms, there was a:

  • 0.8%, or 19,875, increase in the number of businesses
  • 3.8% entry rate, with 122,477 entries
  • -5.1% exit rate, with 106,074 exits

Australian Business Register (ABR) initiated cancellations substantially increased in the September and December quarters 2022 from 2020 or 2021 (in line with pre-COVID levels in 2019). The focus of bulk cancellations continues to be businesses that have recently lodged but not reported business activity (and there is no other data indicating their entitlement to an ABN). Increases in cancellations, as well as long term non-remitters, can be seen in the seasonally adjusted data.

Count of businesses, entries and exits, March 2023 and June 2023, Australia
Mar-23Change (%)Jun-23Change (%)
Total Businesses2,552,8100.52,589,8731.5
Business Entries106,534-0.04122,74915.2
Business Exits95,18538.485,686-10.0
Seasonally Adjusted
Total Businesses2,563,6320.32,583,5070.8
Business Entries118,012-1.6122,4773.8
Business Exits111,804-1.5106,074-5.1

Trend estimates are not calculated for these series as they require the irregular component to be accounted for and this cannot be accurately estimated.

Data downloads

Annual data cubes

Data cube 1 tables 1-16 are released in August.

Data cube 1 tables 17-20 and data cubes 2-11 are released in December.

Data cube 1: Tables 1-16 of counts of Australian businesses, including entries and exits

Quarterly data cubes

Quarterly and seasonally adjusted data is released in February, May, August and December.

Data cube 12: Quarterly Counts of Australian Businesses, entries and exits, experimental estimates

Data cube 13: Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, time series and seasonally adjusted



All actively trading businesses in the Australian market sector


  • Reserve Bank of Australia
  • General Government
  • Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households


Data available for:

  • Australia
  • States and Territories
  • Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2)
  • Local Government Area (LGA)


Australian Bureau of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR)

Collection method

Administrative data collected quarterly or annually for Australian Business Number (ABN) registrations recorded in the Australian Business Register (ABR), and business data from the Australian Tax Office (ATO)

History of changes

Since the 2020-21 release, ANZSIC class 6330 (superannuation funds) has been removed from scope

Full history of changes

View full methodology
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