Last Updated on February 16, 2023
Legal documents and shipping all seem to have this confusing measurement tool not everyone understands, the business day. This is a unit of time the Western world uses to typically mean the days from Monday to Friday, between the hours of 9am to 5pm.
The financial sector views a business days meaning as any day the banks or markets are open. That tends to exclude holidays or weekends.
Online shopping refers to business days as the amount of time between placing an order for the latest Amazon hot gadget to receiving and unboxing it. It can get confusing sometimes because not everyone knows the difference.
All this jargon can be a bit tricky. So let’s dig a little deeper and try to understand what’s a business day and how long it lasts.
What is a Business Day?
To put it simply, for those in the US, a business day is a 24-hour time span during the weekdays. That means Monday through Friday and does not include any government-recognized holidays or the weekends.
You can think of it like school days. Those tend to fall on weekdays and not when a holiday is happening. Most school days are the same as business days.
Even though a day is defined by beginning at 12:00am (midnight) and ending at 11:59pm, that is not the end of a business day.
Business days refer to the traditional time business is conducted during the day. These hours are sometimes called “banking hours” and run from 9am in the morning until 5pm in the afternoon. When you’re trying to decide how long is one business day, think about how a bank is open from 9-5 on weekdays.
Quick FactCambodia has the longest workweek averaging 47.6 hours. This translates to ~9.5 hours per day. On the other side we have Denmark with 25.9 hours per week which is ~5.1 hours per day.
How Long is Two Business Days?
If one business day is 9am-5pm on a weekday, two business days would be an equal amount of time on a second weekday.
That probably sounds confusing so let’s use an example. If you visit a store on Monday afternoon and order a brand new custom PC and they say it will take two business days to build, those days would be Tuesday and Wednesday.
The earliest you could pick up your new PC would be around closing time on Wednesday afternoon.
How Long is 3 Business Days?
Three business days would be three weekday periods lasting from 9am-5pm.
To give another example, let’s think about a company delivering a comfortable couch with reclining seats and cup holders for your living room. You order the couch on Thursday, and they say they can deliver in 3 business days.
The order happened on Thursday, so you have to wait Friday, Monday, and Tuesday before you’ll receive your couch. This is because the weekend does not count as business days. You are waiting 3 periods of time before they will hunt for your address to complete the delivery.
How Long is 5 Business Days?
This one gets confusing because everyone thinks of the workweek as being Monday to Friday, but that doesn’t mean 5 business days.
If you order a customized pillowcase for your Grandmother’s birthday and the shipping notice says delivery in 5 business days, you will have to wait 5 periods from 9am-5pm on weekdays.
For example, suppose you ordered the pillowcase that reads “Greatest Grandma Ever!” on Wednesday. In that case, you will have to wait Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday and Wednesday of the following week before you’ll receive the package.
How Long is 7 Business Days?
This question is also a bit misleading because we are taught in school that one week equals 7 days. That isn’t true when you think about how long is a business day.
If you have a company trip that lasts 7 business days in sunny Hawaii, firstly, you are incredibly lucky, and we all want your job.
Secondly, that means you’ll be balancing meetings and sweet island drinks on the sand for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Do you see how the days repeat? That is because you’re getting two extra weekend days as part of your trip. Lucky dog.
Business Days Calculator
Calculate the number of business days (exluding weekeends) between two given dates.
The calculator counts as business days any days between Monday and Friday, regardless of whether they are holidays in some regions. For correct results subtract any country’s holiday from the final result.
What is the Difference between “Business Day” and “Working Day”
This is a decent debate for how long is a business day compared to a working day. Remember that business days are typically 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.
A working day is a bit different like this Redditor describes. It can get confusing if you order a new shirt from somewhere like Old Navy and the employee tells you 3 working/business days before it will be in the store.
The confusion happens because a workday is not the same as a business day. A workday is any day of the week that you go into your job. That can include Saturdays and Sundays, depending on the type of work you do for a living.
If you’re told you’ll get your shirt in 3 workdays, that would be a lot faster than 3 business days.
Is Saturday a Business Day?
Does Saturday count as a business day in our examples? No, Saturday and Sunday are both weekend days and not included as business days.
Think about schools and banks. Are they open during the weekends? Some banks are, but not traditional public schools. This trick isn’t a guarantee to tell the difference, but it is a pretty good estimate.
Is Sunday a Business Day?
Even if a business is open or there is some special presentation at a local school, Sunday will never be considered a business day.
Practically every religion in the world recognizes Sunday as a day of rest. Some belief systems actually describe working or conducting business on Sunday as a direct violation of their rules.
Sunday is supposed to be reserved for going to church, relaxing with family, or those BBQs where the entire community gets together and your Aunt brings out her famous sauce that will make even the oldest Texan’s mouth water.
Why Do We Still Have Business Days?
Using Business days has been a tradition in the Western world for generations. It is difficult to get rid of a habit once they are set in stone.
Business days are also utilized by shipping and postal companies. It was only recently that the USPS starting delivering on some weekends. Most shipping companies do not operate on non-business days to lower their operating costs.
The truth is everyone needs a rest sometimes, and having 1 or 2 days off from regular business each week keeps the workforce sane.
When you think about what are business days and put them into the context of shipping and banks, it starts to make sense. Business days are the 9am-5pm periods that occur on regular weekdays, Monday through Friday.
Business days do not include holidays or weekends. That is why getting your new game controller can sometimes take a little longer if you order on the weekend and expect it within 3 business days.
How long is a business day refers to the 9-5 time period. It is based on the traditional “banking hours” financial institutions and money markets use to measure their day.
Who knows if this tradition will continue into the future. Now that we are all so used to 24/7 service and 1-day shipping from Amazon, it wouldn’t be a big surprise if business days become a thing of the past.