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Small Business in Victoria


Small business contributes greatly to the health of the Victorian economy and provides a significant number of jobs, goods and services. The number of new small businesses has grown every year since 2001.

More than 47 percent of people employed in Victoria’s private sector work in small businesses – and small businesses account for 96 percent of all Victorian businesses, according to the ABS publication Counts of Australian Businesses, including Entries and Exits.

More than 28 percent of small businesses in Victoria are regionally-based. Rural and regional small businesses comprise by far the largest proportion of businesses in regional Victoria, contributing to social cohesion and export growth.

Small businesses can be found in almost every industry and sector. The top five industries with the greatest number of small businesses in Victoria are:

  • construction (16.3% of the total);
  • professional, scientific and technical services (12%);
  • rental, hiring and real estate services (10.6%);
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing (9.5%); and
  • financial and insurance services (7.8%).

Industry size

As at June 2009, there were 494,993 Victorian-based small businesses, all of which employed 19 or less number of staff, with many of them non-employing businesses:

  • Non employing: 309,330
  • Employing 1-4: 128,182
  • Employing 5-19: 57,481.

For further information regarding Victoria’s dynamic small business industry including demographics, exports and innovations, please visit the Business Victoria website


If you’re interested in setting up, buying or taking over a small business in Victoria, you may be eligible for a business migration visa and visa nomination by the Victorian Government.

Industry contacts

The Victorian Government strongly supports small business. The Business Victoria website is a good source of information about setting up and running a small business.

Victoria also has a Small Business Commissioner, who is responsible for promoting a competitive and fair operating environment for small business.

For more information about the support available to small businesses, see Business Support and Networks.

The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the peak body representing employers in Victoria.

Source: ABS Cat.8165.0 and Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources internal analysis.