Small business count

Australia is a nation of small businesses - the engine room of the economy.

Small business and family enterprise in Australia, classified as businesses with less than 20 employees, account for almost 98% of businesses. The sector is growing fast and as such, presents many opportunities – and challenges – for those who dedicate themselves to pursuing a small business venture.

Small businesses are prevalent in all sectors of the economy and in all of Australia’s regions. There is no ‘typical’ small business. 

Small businesses account for 35% of Australia’s gross domestic profit and employ 44% of Australia’s workforce. Of the 877,744 total employing businesses, 823,551 are small businesses (93.8%), and of those businesses, 627,932 are businesses that employ only 1-4 people, known as micro businesses (76.2%).

Small businesses often have net income well below the average Australian wage with 52% of small business owners registered with the ATO as individuals earning between $0 and $25,000 per annum. The highest proportion of small business owners are between 45 and 59 years old, and women account for 35% of business owner/managers.

Source: The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Read full publication