Stats on COVID-19’s impact on business registrations

24 November 2020

  • Company and business name registrations increased slightly in the first nine months of 2020 compared to 2019.
  • Guidance and support are available for companies and small business owners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • There has also been a change to the number of companies entering external administration and voluntary deregistration.
Finance professionals meeting at a table

New company registrations

In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 176,592 companies were registered, a slight increase compared to the first nine months of 2019 being 172,686.

New company registrations were up 6% for January and February, but down from March to May. The largest drop was in April with 20% - the lowest monthly volume since January 2013.

Volumes were 11% higher compared to the same period in 2019.

New company registr- ations

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

2019

14,605

17,404

19,087

16,625

20,682

24,802

21,047

19,573

18,861

2020

15,064

18,711

18,357

13,358

17,752

26,804

24,017

20,673

21,856

Change

3%

8%

-4%

-20%

-14%

8%

14%

6%

16%

Business names

In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 341,229 business names were registered. This is an increase when compared to registrations in the first nine months of 2019, being 287,232.

New business name registrations were down 4% for the January to March period. Volumes grew quickly with significant increases from April to September 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Business name registr- ations

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

2019

30,462

32,294

32,625

28,262

32,737

30,112

36,024

33,309

31,407

2020

29,225

32,276

29,797

31,249

39,766

43,088

48,128

45,086

42,614

Change

-4%

0%

-9%

11%

22%

43%

34%

35%

36%

External administration

In the first nine months of 2020, 3,828 companies entered external administration. This is a decrease compared to the same period in 2019 where 6,221 companies entered external administration.

Companies entering external administration for the first time increased 6% in February. From March this continued to decrease by larger rates, with September dropping 66%.

External administr-ation

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

2019

470

629

718

615

772

708

846

778

685

2020

397

667

683

410

429

364

373

275

230*

Change

-16%

6%

-5%

-33%

-44%

-49%

-56%

-65%

-66%*

*Figures are provisional and subject to revision given time lag in lodgements of appointment by registered liquidators

Voluntary deregistration

In the first nine months of 2020, a total of 66,583 companies lodged to voluntarily deregister. This was a decrease when compared to the same period in 2019 where 67,580 companies lodged to voluntarily deregister.

From January to April, each month increased in applications to voluntarily deregister a company. During May to September, there was an overall decrease of 5%.

Applications to deregister*

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

2019

5,425

6,254

6,996

6,393

7,858

8,515

9,445

8,718

7,976

2020

5,963

6,587

7,005

6,477

6,968

8,674

9,154

7,950

7,805

Change

10%

5%

0%

1%

-11%

2%

-3%

-9%

-2%

*Volumes have been amended from article published on 17 July 2020 as a result of additional validation

More information

Advice and support are available if your company or small business has been affected by a downturn in business due to COVID-19. Visit the pages below for more information.

ASIC is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator.

Last updated: 24/11/2020 12:00