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 Payment Times Reporting Small Business Identification (SBI) Tool identifies which suppliers are small businesses for payment times reporting.

The 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 tool works 

The tool works by elimination. It contains a database of Australian Business Numbers (ABNs) that are:

  • large businesses and medium sized businesses (income greater than A$10 million)
  • small businesses that have opted out of the 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 small business supplier contact us to request its classification be updated  
  • provide documentary evidence in the form of payment records showing you paid over A$10 million to the supplier in a single income year, or  
  • provide a signed statutory declaration stating you have undertaken an analysis that shows you made payments of more than A$10 million to the entity in the relevant income year.  

If the SBI Tool cannot be updated, or be updated in time to prepare a report, you can provide details (on a no-name basis) in the report comments field on the number of businesses reported on that you do not consider to be small businesses and the potential impact on payment performance.  

You cannot remove suppliers identified as small business suppliers by the SBI Tool from your calculations for reporting.

Guidance for reporting entities

For general guidance on how the tool works, read:

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