If you work in the world of commerce or even if you don’t, you have probably been given a time scale for a delivery, deadline, or package in terms of “business days.”
You may have wondered how long a business day is. Or what exactly is a business day? And where this concept comes from, and how these business days are calculated.
Well, in this article, we will explain it to you.
What is a business day?
The term business day describes the standard operating hours of a company or institution during its business or work hours; this could also be classed as its opening hours.
Most business days are calendar days, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. through until 5 p.m., although variations for these standard hours exist worldwide.
For example, the working week in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai/Abu Dhabi) runs from Sunday to Thursday rather than the traditional Monday to Friday.
Defining a standard business day.
A standard business day will typically be 8 hours each day of the week, excluding weekends, bank holidays, and public holidays.
In the Western world, we usually define business days and operating hours by the banking sector and finance industry.
So a typical business week would be defined as:
Monday hours 9 a.m – 5 p.m
Tuesday hours 9 a.m – 5 p.m
Wednesday hours 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday hours 9 a.m – 5 p.m
Friday hours 9 a.m – 5 p.m
This is a standard Monday through Friday business week; each full working day would be classed as one business day.
So officially, how long is a traditional business day?
A business day can also be defined in two ways:
The UTC or GMT zone is the international standard for coordinating timekeeping worldwide. This defines business days as running from 00:00 to 23:59 each day.
The local time zone where the business operates. So if a company is based in Los Angeles, their business day would run from 8 a.m. Monday Pacific Time (PT) to 5 p.m. PT on Friday.
What is classed as a public holiday?
A public holiday is a day that is designated by law as a holiday, on which businesses and schools are closed, and people are given time off; special considerations need to be given to different countries you are dealing with, as the banking hours, local time and public holidays are likely to differ to western nations or the country in which you reside.
Are public holidays classed as business days?
National, public, and bank holidays are not classed as business days.
You need to remember when calculating business days that national and bank holidays fall on different days and times in different countries, so you need to be aware of national holidays and calculate your business days to suit.
If you are dealing internally within your own country, you only have to consider the national holidays of your own business and country.
How business days are calculated?
There are a few different ways that business days can be calculated, the most common being:
Working days excluding weekends and national/bank holidays
Working days, including weekends but excluding national/bank holidays
Working days, including both weekends and national/bank holidays.
The method you use will depend on your company’s needs and requirements.
When business days are used for working hours, it is generally assumed that a business day runs from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. through to 5 p.m.
Why are business days important?
Business days are important to precisely calculate the due date for something or the delivery date of a parcel, for example. They also help to ensure that you don’t make any miscalculations.
For example, if you are told that your delivery will arrive in 3 business days, you know that it will arrive on the third day that your company is open for business, excluding weekends and public holidays.
This is important as it means that you can plan around the delivery and make sure that someone will be there to accept delivery.
It also means that you can calculate shipping times and deadlines more accurately.
How long is one business day?
A business day is typically 8 hours long; however, this may vary depending on the company’s operating hours. Business days usually run from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Is there a difference between working days and business days?
Yes, there is a difference between working days and business days. If a business is open on a Saturday as a normal working day, this is still not officially classed as a business day.
This is just classed as a working day. So any calculations for business days should not include Saturdays and Sundays, regardless of if the business is open or not.
One business day is one workday 8-hour period defined as a weekday from 9a.m until 5 p.m.
If you placed an order on a Monday, you could expect delivery at the end of the following Tuesday or first thing Wednesday.
How long is two business days?
Two business days are two work day 8-hour periods, defined as weekdays from 9a.m until 5 p.m.
If you placed an order on a Monday, you could expect delivery at the end of the day the following Wednesday or first thing Thursday.
How long is three business days?
Three business days are three work day 8-hour periods, defined as weekdays from 9a.m until 5 p.m.
If you placed an order on a Monday, you could expect delivery at the end of the day the following Thursday or first thing Friday.
How long is four business days?
Four business days are four work day 8-hour periods, defined as weekdays from 9a.m until 5 p.m.
If you placed an order on a Monday, you could expect delivery at the end of the day the following Friday or first thing Monday, as weekends aren’t counted.
How long is five business days?
Five business days are five work day 8-hour periods, defined as weekdays from 9a.m until 5 p.m.
If you placed an order on a Monday, you could expect delivery at the end of the following Monday.
Are seven business days classed as a week?
Seven business days would comprise five business days in the first week, defined as a weekday from 9a.m until 5 p.m. you would skip Saturday and Sunday. Then you would count another two business days the week after.
So if you ordered something on a Monday at 10 a.m., for example, and it was seven business days, then you should expect the parcel or service to be delivered on the Wednesday of the following week.
The seven days would be calculated as follows:
Monday – Order placed 10:00 a.m
Tuesday – Business day 1
Wednesday – Business day 2
Thursday – Business day 3
Friday – Business day 4
Saturday – Not counted as a business day
Sunday – Not counted as a business day
Monday – Business day 5
Tuesday – Business day 6
Wednesday – Business day 7 / Delivery day
When you are trying to calculate business days, there are a few different factors you need to consider.
The most crucial factor is whether you are dealing locally or with another country and if they work different hours to western countries and have other holidays.
Remember, a business day is generally classed as Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but this may vary depending on where you are doing business.
National and bank holidays and weekend days are usually not classed as business days.
I hope this helps you to define what a business day means and you can start counting your company’s settlement periods etc., accurately.
Lee, now the author of Learn Life Money, has started businesses in various industries such as E-commerce to social media marketing. He is an award-winning entrepreneur having received awards from Dragons Den Theo Paphitis, and winning awards for the fastest-growing social media marketing agency in 2019, You can read his full story here. Lee helps people to start and scale their businesses using their knowledge and experience. He has a passion is to help others achieve the success he has achieved and wants to help people pave their path to financial freedom from making the right decisions with money to starting their own businesses.