Tell us whether you accept cookies

We use cookies to collect information about how you use We use this information to make the website work as well as possible and improve our services.

You have accepted all additional cookies. You have rejected all additional cookies. You can change your cookie preferences at any time.

Skip to main content

Business Structure Database (BSD)

Provides a version of the Inter Departmental Business Register for research use, taking full account of changes in ownership and restructuring of businesses.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Business Structure Database, or UK business activity size and location, is a snapshot of a subset of data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register containing information on the legal forms of businesses in the UK. The database is used by researchers, policymakers, and businesses to understand the structure of the UK economy.

The database includes information on several variables, including:

  • legal form: this describes the legal structure of the business, such as a sole trader, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), private limited company (Ltd), public limited company (PLC), or community interest company (CIC)
  • industry classification: this describes the industry in which the business operates, using the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system
  • employment size: this describes the number of people employed by the business
  • turnover size: this describes the annual turnover of the business
  • legal status: this describes the legal status of the business, such as whether it is active, dissolved, liquidated, or dormant
  • geographic location: this describes the geographic location of the business, ranging from national to regional to local
  • other variables: the database also includes other variables that provides reference to geographies and other surveys such as Census

Sources of data are:

  • HM Revenue and Customs, including Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
  • ONS and Northern Ireland surveys
  • Companies House
  • Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)


Inter-Departmental Business Register, employment, BSD, IDBR, industry, turnover