How much your business should be spending

Elizabeth Barry 21 November 2016

working out business expenses

Data from the ATO shows exactly how much small businesses should be spending in every industry.

How much should your business spend? It's a difficult question to answer. However, using data from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), you can now see the expenditure benchmarks for your industry and business size.

These benchmarks were calculated by the ATO using income tax returns and activity statements from more than 1.3 million small businesses during the 2013/14 financial year. You can search across 100 industries to find the one that best describes your business, then see the labour, rent and motor vehicle expenditure benchmarks for three different turnover brackets.

For example, a clothing retailer with an average turnover of between $250,000 and $500,000 has the following benchmarks:

  • Labour - 13% of turnover
  • Rent - 12.5% of turnover
  • Motor vehicles - 1.5% of turnover

Search for your industry to discover your expenditure benchmarks.

Image: Shutterstock

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question