How Long Is a Business Day? (Examples From USA, UK & Canada)

By in Career

A business day is a common term that is often used by many companies around the world. But different countries have different business day lengths. Here are the timings for business days in the US, UK, and Canada:

CountryBusiness DaysOffice Timings
USAMonday to Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m. / 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
UKMonday to Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
CanadaMonday to Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
AustraliaMonday to Friday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saudia ArabiaSunday to Thursday9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ChinaMonday to Friday8 a.m. to 6 p.m (With 12 p.m. to 2 p.m break)

This table shows the business days’ timings for the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Saudia Arabia, and China

Business days are not only used by real-life corporate industries or hospitals. They are now being used on almost all online pages and websites in order to operate in a better way.

Considering how important it is to understand the concept of business days when working at any organization, firm, bank, or any kind of business setting, every layman needs to have an understanding of it. So, let’s learn more about business days.

What Is a Business Day?

A business day is referred to as any working or operating day except for Saturday and Sunday. These two days are not considered to be business days because of the known fact that post offices don’t operate on these days, and in most countries, they’re considered a weekend.

Its definition also excludes days that have been legalized as holidays such as independence days or Christmas days, etc. Plus days in which banks are closed are also not business days.

The whole idea of business days is completely or partially influenced by either the law, the government, or the business setting in question. Hence, its definition and concept can vary according to different countries and regions.

A business day usually refers to days from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for local timings, and excludes weekends (Saturday and Sunday) and national or international public holidays of any sort. 

The famous saying “9 to 5 job” is derived from here.

The different definitions for several countries have been formed according to their local norms, religions, societal customs, business rules, and regulations. All these factors facilitate their workweeks or durations of business hours or days.

There have also been records and current practices about the durations of business days starting from just four hours while also reaching sixteen hours in some areas. 

Even if you own an absentee business, you would still need to follow business day standards.

» Read my blog post about: $40,000 A Good Salary? A Budget Breakdown by State

For better understanding, let’s talk about the United States, which is a big part of the western region.

How Long Is a Business Day in the US?

Business days in the United States are typically Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. but they may vary by state. This makes 40 working hours per week. Some states have a long work week than others.

These differences are greatest among the collective western countries like the USA, Canada, and the UK and some eastern countries like China, Japan, and Korea.

How Can Business Days Help Companies?

Business days are quite helpful for companies’ websites, and banking hours. The main entity that uses business days to operate is the couriers from all over the world. These are the people that need to work according to the given time frame to timely deliver the packages.

In order to successfully deliver a company’s product to its location at a given timeframe, people need to know all about the business days and hours of the said company.

All of this while noting how Saturdays and Sundays are not considered business days.

For example, there is a company in some part of the western region that delivers in 2 business days and a courier company (e.g., FedEx) dispatches a parcel on a Friday. This means, according to the two business days rule, the parcel will be on the client’s doorstep on Tuesday.

If that Tuesday happens to be a national holiday, then the parcel will be delivered on Wednesday. If someone orders something at 4 pm or 4:59 pm on a Friday, they are going to receive it before 5 pm on Tuesday.

How Long Is a Business Week?

A business week is supposed to be 5 days a week that starts on Monday and ends on Friday, commonly. While working for a company, one should be aware of the different beginnings of the week considered by various business bodies. 

It is important to know that a business week may vary such as how many days it has or from which day it starts; this depends on different business settings or countries.

You can take Europe and USA for example; they have Monday as their first day of the work week, while Saturdays are considered the first days of Saudi Arabia’s business weeks.

Hence, it is great to keep knowledge about a company’s first business day, especially if you are working under it.

Different Business Days’ Lengths

This duration variety includes 1 business day, 2 business days, 3-5 business days, 7-10 business days, and even within one business day.

There are different lengths of business days to facilitate the working, shipping, and progress of companies from various different countries and parts of the world.

Following is the brief information on all varieties for better understanding.

How Long Is 1 Business Day?

One business day duration is mostly used within a closely packed setup; i.e. within a community, district, or sometimes even a city. Almost any online shopping page from any country offers this type of shipping to its clients as it is the best thing that attracts customers: early delivery.

This means that if one orders something from an online page, he will receive it the next business day. In other words, if one orders the said product on Thursday, they can expect their parcel on Friday.

However, the catch is that if a person orders on a Friday, they will get the parcel on Monday because Saturday and Sunday are holidays and not business days. This means that 1-business day shipping started on a Friday will automatically be delivered on the third day, ie. Monday.

How Long Are 2 Business Days?

This is also an important shipping length offered by many online pages to districts and different cities, depending on the time frames. 2 business days shipping means 48 hours for some companies, while for others, it is processed according to the business’ timings such as 9 am to 5 pm.

In this type, if one orders something online on a Monday, they can get their order on the following Wednesday. But if they order on a Friday, then it will get processed in a way such that the order may be received on the following Tuesday.

Again the order one places on a Friday will take 4 days to ship instead of 2.

How Long Are 3 Business Days?

This means that the online order is being carried out in such a way that it takes 3 days out of the five business days to reach the client. And if the order is noted and shipped on a Friday, then it would take 5 days to deliver since Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days.

How Long Are 4 Business Days?

The duration of 4 business days for some companies may mean 34 working hours according to their usual business timings which are 9 am to 5 pm. While for some companies, this means 96 hours according to the 24 hours time frame.

Considering the longer period, it can also be divided into two consecutive weeks. Hence, excluding the weekend (Saturday and Sunday), one can get their services done during any four business days from Monday to Friday.

In some countries, like Mexico, India, and Pakistan, weekdays can be as long as Monday to Saturday.

So if a product or service is ordered on a Monday, then it will be delivered on the following Friday. However, if it starts on Thursday, then it will end on Wednesday of the coming week, which will automatically make it 6 days in total.

How Long Are 3-5 Business Days?

In this duration, one would be able to contact or order from a company during 3-5 business days. If one orders on a Wednesday, it would reach them in 5 to 7 days keeping the weekends in mind too.

This is not the case if you order on a Monday, i.e. you will get the parcel or said service between the following Wednesday to Friday.

If one orders on Tuesday, then Friday will make 3 business days, whereas the next Tuesday will make 5 business days.

How Long Are 7-10 Business Days?

This type of shipping is quite commonly used by many companies. It is offered if something has to be processed longer than usual in terms of the company’s or country’s rule.

This duration is also used if an order has to be shipped to a faraway area or region or service has to be provided over a longer time frame. 

If someone contacts such a company on Monday, they are most likely to get a response from them on next week’s Tuesday to Friday.

How Long Is Within One Business Day?

If a client orders something from an online page and it says ‘within one business day delivery’, he is likely to get it within 24 hours. Food companies or online grocery marts tend to use this time frame more often. Uber Eats is one of the most popular examples of this service. 

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What Factors Affect the Lengths of Business Days?

The factors that affect a company’s business day length are:

  • the country’s traditions, 
  • working capital requirements, 
  • employee satisfaction
  • the start and end location of the product 
  • how many deliveries a company has to make in the given timeframe.

The business day lengths, such as 1 business day, 2 business days, etc, are always suggested to you in order to get in line with the time and space.

There are several other factors that can vary from country to country and company to company. In other words, they are shorter or longer according to the different industries, organizations, and countries.

How Long Is a Business Day In Hours?

A business day can be as long as eight hours, typically. But many countries or corporate bodies have longer business hours. This also varies according to the differences in industries/companies, organizations, and countries.

People in Canada observe an 8 hours business day, which totals up to 40 hours a week, and the people in the US also follow the same pattern.

Even in the UK, the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours are followed.

How Would You Define The Term “Business Day” In a Contract?

In a contract, the term “business day” is the typical meaning of the commonly spoken “Monday to Friday, and excluding national holidays.” This also means that Saturday and Sunday are excluded.

The contracts also follow the same guidelines as businesses do, which is to follow the traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timings for a business day (Monday to Friday).

» Read my blog post: What Jobs Are The Happiest? » 19 Jobs With Happy Employees


Why Do Japan and the United States Have Different Timings For Delivery or Shipping?

Japan and the USA have different times for shipping because Japan is in the East and the United States in the West. The time frames also vary according to the differences in their regions, first days of business weeks, and cultures or regulations.

Does Next Business Day Mean Tomorrow?

Yes. However, the meaning of this term varies if there are weekends (Saturday and Sunday) involved. For example, if one orders on Thursday (for a 1 business day delivery), they would receive it by Friday of the same week. But if one places that order on Friday, they would receive it on Monday.

This would be the next business day but since there are non-business days along the way, this is sometimes confused for a 3-business day shipping/service.

What are Normal Office/Business Hours?

The most common business hours start from 9 am to 5 pm. This can lead up to a whopping 40 hours per week spent at work or the office.

Many retail stores and different companies vary in accordance to their hours as some also start at 7 am and end at 3 pm.

This is more common in the US governmental bodies and agencies where they require a much bigger extent of punctuality.

Are 9 To 5 Business Days Still Common?

Yes. Most industries in the corporate world suggest their employees work 9 to 5 shifts with faithfulness and never risk their clients’ dissatisfaction. This is quite a traditional term (a ‘9 to 5 job’) used globally by people who are working these business hours or are looking for a job within these business hours.

However, it has been noted that people have now been finding better alternatives for these business hours. Like working from home, or finding the equipment that they need from their corporate building’s office.

Why Can’t Companies Deliver on Saturday or Sunday?

Saturday and Sunday are considered to be non-business days and are widely taken as weekends. These two days are when almost all post offices remain closed or don’t open. However, food delivery services are open on weekends too.

Another big enough reason that all companies take this measure is that nearly all banks are also closed or inoperative these days. And hence, bank transfers lag or do not work properly, which creates miscommunication.

» You can also read my post: How Much Is a 7 & 8 Figure Salary (Examples & Explanations)

Final Thoughts

Business days vary in different regions according to their own customs and traditions. However, the world has started to treat their business days differently. 

In the modernized world of today, electronic devices have forced organizations and industries to process their business-related affairs almost 24/7 every day; if not in the traditional business day method.

If you don’t want the hassle to follow business days, try businesses that run themselves so you don’t indulge in their daily operations.

I hope this article helped you learn some basic knowledge about business days and their lengths.

About Hi' my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life. Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person Read more about Simon & TopWorklife

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