Business Activity, Expenditure and Output Survey (BAEO)

Detailed information for 2015





Record number:


The statistical information from the Business Activity, Expenditure and Output Survey will serve the following purposes:
maintain and update the Canadian Business Register, which lists all active businesses in Canada;
improve the efficiency of the Integrated Business Statistics Program with the goal of ensuring each business is only sent appropriate Statistics Canada surveys.

Data release - This survey is a tool for better targeting the sample selection for the Integrated Business Statistics Program. No data are released from this survey.


The survey objective is to validate industry classification codes, and to obtain information required to efficiently select samples for Statistics Canada's economic survey programs. Topics studied include business activity, research and development, and capital expenditures.

Statistical activity

The survey is administered as part of the Integrated Business Statistics Program (IBSP). The IBSP has been designed to integrate approximately 200 separate business surveys into a single master survey program. The IBSP aims at collecting industry and product detail at the provincial level while minimizing overlap between different survey questionnaires. The redesigned business survey questionnaires have a consistent look, structure, and content.

The integrated approach makes reporting easier for firms operating in different industries because they can provide similar information for each branch operation. This way they avoid having to respond to questionnaires that differ for each industry in terms of format, wording and even concepts. The combined results produce more coherent and accurate statistics on the economy.

Collection period: January through March of the year after the reference period


  • Business cycles
  • Business performance and ownership

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population comprises all business and government entities operating in a specific subset of industries in Canada.

Instrument design

The survey questionnaire contains generic modules designed to cover several industries.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

The target population consists of all Canadian businesses and government entities in Canada operating in a specific subset of industries. The frame is the list of enterprises (including government bodies) from which the portion eligible for sampling is determined and the sample is drawn. The frame is maintained by Statistics Canada's Business Register and is updated using administrative data and survey feedback.

Prior to the selection of a random sample, enterprises are classified into homogeneous groups (e.g., groups with the same NAICS codes and same geography (province/territory)) based on the characteristics of their establishments. Then, each group is divided into sub-groups (i.e. small, medium, large) called strata based on the annual revenue of the enterprise.

Following that, a sample of predetermined size, is allocated into each stratum, with the objective of optimizing the overall quality of the survey while respecting the available resources. The sample allocation can result in two kinds of strata: take-all strata where all units are sampled with certainty, and take-some strata where a sample of units are randomly selected. The total sample size for the survey is approximately 140,000 enterprises.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2016-01-15 to 2016-03-14

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Once the sample has been selected, electronic questionnaires or letters with access codes will be sent to establishments, within the selected enterprises, for which the information of interest is unknown or outdated (i.e. older than 3 years old). The number of establishments receiving a questionnaire is approximately 35,000.

Units that have not responded are subject to mail, email, fax and telephone follow-up to ensure that data are obtained.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

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