Small business-what is small business

 ‘Small business’ is defined differently by regulators in Australia depending on the laws they administer.

For example, ASIC regulates many businesses that are 'small proprietary companies', which means a company with two out of these three characteristics:
  • an annual revenue of less than $25 million

  • fewer than 50 employees at the end of the financial year, and

  • consolidated gross assets of less than $12.5 million at the end of the financial year.

The Australian Taxation Office defines a small business as one that has annual revenue turnover (excluding GST) of less than $2 million. Fair Work Australia defines a small business as one that has less than 15 employees.

Despite these differences, many regulators have informally adopted the definition of ‘small business’ used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which is a business that employs fewer than 20 people.


More information on this topic

Why small business is important to ASIC

Why complying with the law is important

ASIC’s role and the laws we administer


More about small business

Small business home

Starting a small business

Compliance for small business

Closing a small business


Last updated: 04/11/2013 12:00