How to identify small business suppliers

The Small Business Identification (SBI) Tool allows reporting entities to identify their small business suppliers. Find out how it works.

Small Business Identification (SBI) Tool

The SBI Tool identifies which suppliers are deemed small businesses for the purpose of payment times reporting.

The SBI Tool is available through the Payment Times Reporting Portal and must be used to identify small business suppliers for payment times reporting. No other data sources should be used to identify small business suppliers.

How the SBI Tool works 

The SBI Tool is a database of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) containing:

  • large businesses and medium sized businesses (with annual income greater than A$10 million), and
  • small businesses that have opted out of the SBI Tool.

To use the tool, a reporting entity will need a list of supplier ABNs. The tool compares this list to the businesses in its database. ABNs that don't have a match in the tool’s database are small businesses for reporting purposes.

The tool returns on screen results and a text output file, separating ABNs into 3 lists of ABNs that are:

  • deemed small businesses for the purposes of payment times reporting
  • not deemed small businesses for the purposes of payment times reporting
  • invalid ABNs.

The ABNs deemed small businesses need to be included when preparing payment times reports.

What if a reporting entity does not have small business suppliers? 

A reporting entity must submit a payment times report, even if there are no payments or invoices to report or small business suppliers.

Reporting entities should report ‘0’ in the columns that require payment times data.

Correcting the SBI Tool  

If you believe the SBI Tool output file incorrectly identifies a supplier as a small business, you can:  

  • request the supplier contact us to update its classification. The supplier will need to provide its registered business name, ABN and a statement that the contact person is authorised to request the classification update on behalf of the entity, or 
  • provide documentary evidence (payment records or a statutory declaration) that you paid A$10 million or more to the supplier in a single income year.

The Regulator is committed to updating the SBI Tool within 28 calendar days of appropriate documentary evidence being provided.

Where a reporting entity has identified an error and seeks to have the SBI Tool updated, it may:

  • wait for the SBI Tool to be updated and re-run the tool for the relevant period under the end date or continuous approach, or
  • use the SBI Tool output file with the error uncorrected to prepare its payment times report.

Waiting for the SBI Tool to be updated does not excuse a reporting entity from the obligation to submit a payment times report by the statutory due date

Guidance for reporting entities

For general guidance on how the tool works, read:

Related information