ALMOST a third of business owners work at least 49 hours a week, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The report Counts of Australian Business Owners revealed that almost 95% of business owners expected to be in business in 12 months time.
Of those that did not, alternative employment and retirement accounted for more than half.
The report identified just over two million business owners in Australia in November 2012, with almost half of them identifying as independent contractors.
The areas of business activity varied significantly between men and women.
"Male business operators participated in the construction (25%), professional, scientific and technical services (11.9%) and agriculture, forestry and fishing," the report says.
"Female business operators were most common across the professional, scientific and technical services (13.6%), retail trade (10.6%) and health care and social assistance (10.4%) industries."
The age profile of business operators also varied by gender.
Men made up 66.7% of all business operators and women 33.3%.
Women were more likely to be running a business operation (60.8%) rather than working as a contractor, whereas 53.2% of male business operators were working as independent contractors.
The highest proportion of business operators (27.7%) were aged 45-54 years, whereas 24.7% were aged 35-44.
Just 2.8% of business operators were aged 20-24 while 17.5% were aged over 60.