Entrepreneurs Dominate Australian Small Business

5 August 2014

Aussies Are Entrepreneurs

The entrepreneurial spirit in Australia is alive and well: according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) in June 2014, there are approximately 2.07 million actively trading businesses in Australia, a 2.9% decrease from 12 months earlier.  96% of which are small businesses. The real figure is likely to be higher than that as the count excludes a number of businesses with a turnover of less than $75,000 per annum.

Their structure

In terms of structure, the ABS advises that most of our businesses are broken down as follows:

Companies: 722,198
Sole Proprietors: 564,869
Trusts: 481,730
Partnerships: 310,296

Their employment

There are many sole traders out there: less than half of the actively trading businesses in Australia employ other staff. Their employment composition is:

Do not employ others: 1,264,298
1–4 employees: 563,412
5–19 employees: 197,412
20 –199 employees: 50,946
200+ employees: 3,598

Their industry

Australian businesses are spread over a wide and diverse range of industries. In terms of business numbers, the three most populous industry divisions are:

  • 328,486 businesses involved in construction
  • 241,814 professional, scientific & technical businesses
  • 219,878 businesses involved in rental, hiring and real estate

Their cashflow

Perhaps most sobering for would-be entrepreneurs is the often-low nature of the business turnover, with less than 27% of actively trading businesses having an annual turnover of less than $50,000. While not all of those businesses would be full-time operations, it is nevertheless essential to carefully weigh up the financial pros and cons of business ownership before jumping in. Overall, the annual turnover of our businesses currently is as follows:

Less than $50,000: 556,504
Between $50,000 – $200,000: 718,005
Between $200,000 – $2 million: 672,150
$2 million or more: 133,007

While there are plenty of challenges associated with running a business, there are also many rewards. And most certainly for those with the desire to do so, the ability to start and run a business in Australia is on offer.


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