Small Business Statistics

Links to leading small business surveys, (for West Australian businesses) are also in this section but not on this page.

Both state and federal budgets for the 2012-13 financial year have placed emphasis on easing the cost of living for Australian families and there are also some potential benefits for small businesses. For our assessment, refer to Making Cents of the Budgets 2012/2013.

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Key Statistics - Australian Small Business

Australian Small Business - Key Statistics and Analysis
The Australian Small Business - Key Statistics and Analysis publication provides an updated overview of Australia’s small business sector, with emphasis on business characteristics and performance. It also includes research conducted by the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research which provides a unique insight into the factors that initiate, hinder and facilitate the process of new business creation in Australia.

PDF and RTF versions of this publication can be downloaded from Australian Government’s Treasury website

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Size of the small business sector in WA

There were 208,926 (96.7% of all businesses) actively trading small businesses in Western Australia as at June 2013. The proportion of WA businesses in each size category is illustrated below.

size of small business sector graph

 

 

As at June 2013, industries with the greatest number of small businesses  in WA were:

  • Construction
  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Financial and Insurance Services

(ABS Cat. No. 8165.0 – Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2009 to June 2013)

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Small business start ups

During the 2009/10 period, there were 29,356 new business names registered in Western Australia through the Department of Commerce. This figure is significantly higher than the previous two years, where business name registrations remained steady at 25,410. This appears to indicate that confidence has increased following the global economic downturn.

However, it is important to note that business registrations are valid for three years. As such, the impact of the current economic situation on the viability of these new businesses will become more apparent over the next few years, as they renew or cancel their existing business names.

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Industry breakdown of small business

Industry type

Total small businesses in WA

Total businesses in WA

Small businesses as percentage of total

Construction

37,518

38,328

97.9%

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

24,151

24,785

97.4%

Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services

21,921

22,162

98.9%

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

17,905

18,216

98.3%

Financial and Insurance Services

17,724

17,829

99.4%

Transport, Postal and Warehousing

13,081

13,363

97.9%

Retail trade

12,105

12,963

93.4%

Other services

8,965

9,185

97.6%

Health Care and Social Assistance

9,201

9,575

96.1%

Manufacturing

8,170

8,907

91.7%

Administrative and Support Services

7,105

7,569

93.9%

Unknown

9,021

9,101

99.1%

Wholesale trade

6,258

6,629

94.4%

Accommodation and food services

6,502

7,356

88.4%

Mining

2,718

2,982

91.1%

Arts and Recreation Services

2,098

2,184

96.1%

Education and Training

2,091

2,273

92.0%

Information Media and Telecommunications

1,274

1,326

96.1%

Public Administration and Safety

578

642

90.0%

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

540

597

90.5%

TOTAL

208,926

215,972

96.7%

 

**(ABS Cat. No. 8165.0 – Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits, June 2009 to June 2013)

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Small business exports

In June 2012-13, there were 18,368 small business exporters, an increase from 18,297 in the previous year.

Small businesses made up 42.7% of all goods exported.

Based on the total value of exports, the top five destination export countries for Australia are:

  • China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan)
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • India
  • United States of America

ABS Cat. No. 5368.0.55.006 - Characteristics of Australian Exporters, 2012-13

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Website use

website use graph

Source: ABS Cat No. 8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2011-12

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Small business customers

customer markets graph

Source: ABS Cat No. 8167.0 - Selected Characteristics of Australian Business, 2011-12

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Australian Bureau of Statistics Publications

Statistical information on small businesses and the West Australian economy can be found in a range of Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data sources. These include:

  • 8165.0 - Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits
    This product presents business counts, including rates of business entries to and exits from the Australian economy, and rates of business survival.

    These data are sourced from the ABS Business Register. Detailed counts are presented by industry, main state and territory, type of legal organisation, institutional sector, employment size ranges and annual turnover size ranges.

  • 6359 – Forms of Employment, Australia
    This publication presents information about the nature of employment arrangements in the Australian workforce. The different types of employment can be cross-classified by characteristics such as hours worked, industry, occupation and demographics.
  • 1306.5 - Western Australia at a Glance
    This publication contains a wide range of statistics on Western Australia, including data on population, employment and wages, price indexes, mineral production, manufacturing, building, foreign trade and tourism.
  • 8167.0 – Selected Characteristics of Australian Businesses
    This publication contains data for a selection of topics including nature of business ownership, collaborative arrangements, franchising agreements, performance measures, government financial assistance, finance sought, level of innovation, business use of information technology, skills, markets and competition.
  • 8158.0 – Innovation in Australian Businesses
    This release presents information about the incidence of innovation in Australian business and related practices or influences, as collected by the Business Characteristics Survey (BCS).
  • Census - 2011 - Community Profiles
    Community Profiles are excellent tools for researching, planning and analysing geographic areas for a number of social, economic and demographic variables.

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Disclaimer

This content has been prepared by the Small Business Development Corporation to provide general small business statistical information. The information here is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate at the time of publishing. It is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment and for verifying all relevant representations, statements and information.

Neither the Small Business Development Corporation nor its officers take any responsibility for statements or representations, nor will the Small Business Development Corporation or any of its officers be liable in respect of any such statement or representation, whether by reason of negligence, lack of care, or for any other reason whatever.

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