Understanding Small Business
The fabric of Australian society is made up of “small businesses”. But what is a small business, in government terms with definitions varying widely. Despite these differences, many regulators have informally adopted the definition of ‘small business’ used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which is a business that employs fewer than 20 people.
- The Australian Taxation Office: annual revenue turnover (excluding GST) of less than $2 million.
- Fair Work Australia: less than 15 employees.
- ASIC: annual revenue of less than $25 million; fewer than 50 employees at the end of the financial year, and consolidated gross assets of less than $12.5 million at the end of the financial year.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics(ABS): employs fewer than 20 employees. This is the definition applied by the Queensland government.
Queensland’s approximately 405,000 small businesses (those employing less than 20 people) are at the core of every industry sector. They are in every community in every region, represent over 97% of businesses statewide, and employ approximately 43% of all private sector workers.
Over two million people either own or operate one or more businesses in Australia, according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Karen Connaughton from the ABS said that since 2006-07, the average individual income for a business operator has increased from $799 per week to $999 per week in 2011-12.
“Our report shows the average business owners or operators were men (67 per cent) aged between 45 and 54 and women (33 per cent) aged between 35 and 44. ”
“Over 80 per cent of men worked full time in their businesses in contrast to 40 per cent of woman working full time.
“Based on 2011 Census findings, business operators are 96 per cent likely to run a small business, employ between 1 to 19 staff, and are educated to Year 12 or equivalent, ” Ms Connaughton added.
Over 70 per cent of business owners and operators were born in Australia, but for those not born in Australia the most common period of arrival was in between 1981 to 1990.
Family operated businesses accounted for 87 per cent of businesses, and 42 per cent of these had dependants.
In addition, approximately 40 per cent of business operators indicted they spent time caring for a child or children without being paid.
The Counts of Australian Business Operators, 2011-12 publication collects information on small business operators including income, educational level, family status, region of birth and regional geographic status.
Click here to read more from the ABS.
Source Information ABS
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