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Business Structure Database

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 is a snapshot of a subset of data from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) 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: 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: describes the number of people employed by the business
  • turnover size: describes the annual turnover of the business
  • legal status: describes the legal status of the business, such as whether it is active, dissolved, liquidated, or dormant
  • geographic location: describes the geographic location of the business, ranging from national to regional to local
  • other variables: the database also includes other variables that provide reference to geographies and other surveys such as Census.

The Business Structure Database is also known as UK business; activity size and location. Sources of data are:

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

All data hosted on the Integrated Data Service (IDS) are de-identified.


Inter-Departmental Business Register, Employment, BSD, IDBR, Industry, Turnover