Concise guide about what is a business day outlines when Saturday and Sunday are business days, and when Monday to Friday are not.
There are many instances in which a business or employer needs to use the term ‘business days’. For example, you may state that “claims will be processed within 10 business days” or “delivery will take up to 5 business days”.
What is a business day?
This has generally been taken to mean that business days are Monday through to Friday, except for federal (and some state) public holidays.
When is Saturday considered a business day? Or Sunday?
Yes, there are exceptions to the ‘Monday to Friday’ rule, and those exceptions include when Saturday is consider a business day and/or Sunday is considered as a business day.
For example: employers who file PERM labor applications are required to post an internal notice advising that they have a job opening, before the PERM application can be granted. The PERM regulations say that the notice has to posted for “10 consecutive business days.”
However, there are many businesses for which Saturday and Sunday (and even public holidays) are still business days: medical businesses, restaurants, bars, hotels and resorts; to name just a few.
For businesses that are open six, or even seven days a week, they can legally count those days as ‘business days’ when required for notification and labor regulation purposes.
The Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification has confirmed that where an employer is open for business on a Saturday, Sunday, and/or holiday, the employer may include the Saturday, Sunday and/or holiday in its count of the 10 consecutive business day period required for the posting of the Notice of Filing so long as the employer demonstrates that it was open for business on those days.
When are Monday to Friday not business days?
If an employer is not open for business any particular week day, Monday through Friday, the employer does not have to include such days in its count of the 10 consecutive business day period required for the posting of the Notice of Filing.
For example, if a restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday of every week, it does not have to count Mondays and Tuesdays in its calculation of business days for filing such paperwork.
How long is 3 business days?
As you can see from the above, this can be anything from 3 actual days (if they are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in a business that is open on those days) to even 6 actual days or more. For example, if a business is not open Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the 3 business days could stretch from a Thursday to the following Wednesday. If in doubt, it is always best to ask — and get the answer in writing!
Always check your business circumstances
If you wish to vary your use of the term ‘business days’ for legal or customer service situations, it’s always best to check with your state laws regarding this first.
Inform your customers clearly
If you are stipulating a term such as “delivery within 5 business days” or “returns must be made within 20 business days” in doing business with customers and clients, it is worthwhile adding the explanation that “the count of business days does not include Mondays, when we are closed” or “the count of business days includes Saturdays” or a similar explanation.
Making sure everybody is clearly informed saves time and trouble later by avoiding misunderstandings.
What about doing business in other countries?
The situation is different in other countries you may do business with, expecially in Europe and Asia, so it is best to check what applies there.
For example, in Germany, according to Section 3 of the Federal Holiday Act (BurlG), all calendar days that are not Sundays or public holidays are considered working days. This also includes Saturday. Working on a working day is therefore also legally permissible without any restrictions. If you work in retail in Germany, Saturday can be regarded as a normal working day and working day, while for many other employees only Monday to Friday are working days.
Other differences with business days in Europe can include:
• Post: Saturday is to be regarded as a business day at Post. If you find a parcel collection slip in your mailbox on Friday with the information that the parcel can be picked up the next working day, then it means Saturday. However, you should note the opening times. The same applies to other parcel services. The delivery takes place on Saturday as on any other day.
• Banks: What is the significance of Saturday for banks? This question is often of particular interest to businesses who are waiting , for example, for payments or payroll for employees. In principle, Saturday is not a working day at banks. Transfers that you make are usually only processed on Monday. Online payments can also only be initiated on the following working day, which would also be Monday. The exception is if the recipient’s account is with the same bank as yours. Then a credit is also possible on Saturday.
• Authorities: At authorities you have a lot to do with deadlines. But what about when the deadline falls on a Saturday? Authorities are closed on Saturdays, so this day is not a working day. The end of the deadline is shifted to Monday.
How many business days in a year?
Again this comes down to what is considered a business day, and how the calendar falls in a particular year. In the USA, there were 261 business days in 2019 and 262 business days in 2020.
How many business days in a month?
Again, this depends on the calendar. A good example can be found in the UCLA calculation calendar here.
When is the end of the business day?
Working out ‘the end of business day’ calculations can vary from industry to industry. However, the ‘9 to 5’ tradition still holds strongly in most areas, but with slight variations. Some businesses may open later or close later as well. If you have been told something “will be done by COB (close of business) it generally means by whatever time that business closes for the day. Again, it is best to check.