62 percent of Australian small business debt is now overdue.

Small businesses in Australia are now overdue on around 62 percent of their combined $10.4 billion debts but the liability is not equal between states, reports the News Limited Network.

The average small business now owes around $18,624 according to the findings of new research by the Commonwealth Bank. And although 62 percent of Australian small business debt is now overdue, it varies significantly state-to-state.

Around 78 percent of the $4.4 billion small business debt in New South Wales is now overdue compared to just 22 percent of Western Australia's $236 million debt. While the success of the mining economy passing onto businesses within the state was a proposition for the variance, the 66 percent outstanding of Queenslands $1.9 billion debt would make this imprecise.

Interestingly, of the 761 small businesses surveyed that were earning less than $2 million, around 57 percent of them agreed that making late payments is standard practice, while 29 percent admitted withholding payments for the benefit of their own cash holdings.

But this doesn't just impact their business said Commonwealth Bank manager of local business, Adam Bennet. "When they are paying late it creates a domino effect so they are more likely to pay their own suppliers late."

Mr Bennet also urged that businesses finding themselves in a difficult position should seek assistance early, whether from a business coach, bank or else where.

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