This data presents Australia’s small businesses according to their areas of operation, focusing on each state and territory.

Key findings for the year to 30 June 2023

  • The number of small businesses increased in all states and territories except Victoria. Victoria’s decrease can be attributed to a decrease in the number of small businesses in Greater Melbourne. The number of small businesses also fell in Other Territories (Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Jervis Bay, Norfolk Island).
  • The largest increases in percentage terms were in the Australian Capital Territory (3.3%) and Queensland (2.1%). 
  • The top five regions with the highest number of small businesses were all in Greater Capital City areas: Sydney Inner City (NSW), Melbourne City (Vic), Wyndham (Vic), Boroondara (Vic), and Perth City (WA). 
  • The regional areas with the highest number of small businesses were Geelong (Vic), Ormeau – Oxenford (Qld), Newcastle (NSW), Toowoomba (Qld) and Townsville (Qld).

Data notes:

Businesses can operate across multiple geographic locations. To prevent double counting, this data attributes them to one geographical location. For this reason, the business counts may not reflect the full extent of business activity in each location.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) defines small businesses as those with less than 20 employees for this data. The data is classified using the Australian Statistical Geography Standard (ASGS).

This data excludes businesses not registered for GST. Cells may not add up to totals due to the Australian Bureau of Statistics adjusting cells to avoid releasing confidential information.  Exercise care when analysing small numbers for this reason. The ABS revised data for 2021-22 so these figures will not reconcile to previous publications. For further information see Australian Bureau of Statistics, Counts of Australian Businesses, Including Entries and Exits methodology.

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