Business registers Business registers

Statistical business registers (BR) include information on the active population of:

  • Enterprises carrying on economic activities contributing to the gross domestic product (GDP);
  • Their local units;
  • The legal units of which those enterprises consist;
  • Enterprise groups (association of enterprises bound together by legal and/or financial links).

The characteristics recorded in the registers for the units are, for example:

  • Identification characteristics: ID numbers, names, addresses;
  • Demographic characteristics: date of commencement/cessation of the unit;
  • Economic/stratification characteristics: economic activity (NACE), employment, turnover, legal form;
  • Information on control and ownership relations: parent/subsidiary legal unit, minority shareholder information, country of global decision centre.

Statistical business registers are used:

  • As a tool for the preparation and co-ordination of surveys;
  • As a source of information for statistical analysis of the business population and its demography;
  • To establish links with administrative sources;
  • For the identification and construction of statistical units.


Business register data is mainly used for supporting surveys and the analysis of statistical units, as well as their relations. Eurostat does not publish BR data for the Member States.


Business register methodology is available in the business registers recommendations manual.

Policy context

The availability of statistical BRs is key to the compilation of consistent and comparable short-term and structural business statistics.

BRs are crucial for establishing efficient statistical survey frames which aim to reduce reporting burden on enterprises.