Changes to business and non-business statistics

The new Bankruptcy Online system commenced on 2 January 2020; this introduced changes to the bankruptcy Statement of Affairs form. This has changed our personal insolvency statistics from the March quarter 2020.

Our method of defining business related personal insolvencies has changed with the March quarter 2020 release of statistics. This change applies to all types of personal insolvency in our statistics.

Further information about Bankruptcy online and the new Statement of Affairs is available on our website.

What defines a business related personal insolvency?

Statistics releases from the March quarter 2020 use a new definition for a business related personal insolvency.

A personal insolvency is business related if the debtor has operated a business in the last five years, or two years for a debt agreement. A business is defined as:

  • operated as sole trader, including as a contractor, subcontractor or similar; or
  • been involved in a partnership; or
  • been a director/secretary in a company; or
  • held a management role in a company.

How does this definition compare to the previously released definition?

The superseded bankruptcy Statement of Affairs asked debtors to choose the main cause of their personal insolvency from a list. This list separated business and non-business related causes. If somebody selected a business related case, we reported this as a business related personal insolvency.

The new bankruptcy Statement of Affairs allows debtors to report one or many reasons for their insolvency.

How this change impact other personal insolvency types?

The change to the definition of business related personal insolvencies applies to all types of personal insolvency in our statistics.

  • There are small revisions to debt agreements proportions. Debt agreement debtors’ choice of causes of insolvency already incorporated whether the debtor indicated operating a business or not.
  • The number of personal insolvency agreements is low each quarter; percent point differences should be used with caution.


We have published comparisons between the historical and new definitions of business and non-business related personal insolvency statistics. Reports are available at the Australian and state and territory level.

Detailed comparison


State and territory spreadsheets

Download the data

This zip files contains the full set of state and territory comparison statistics.