Business Register (BR)

Detailed information for third quarter 2002





Record number:


The Business Register is a structured list of businesses engaged in the production of goods and services in Canada.


The Business Register Division (BRD) maintains the Business Register (BR) which is the central repository of information on businesses in Canada. The BR is used as the principal frame for the economic statistics program of Statistics Canada (STC). The Business Register's role is to provide Statistics Canada with a comprehensive quality frame in terms of coverage and a set of stratification variables such as industrial classification, gross business income, number of employees and total assets.

Although the BR is updated on an on-going basis, data on population of businesses with employees are released quarterly.

A more detailed survey description is available through a link in the Documentation section below.


  • Business ownership
  • Business performance and ownership
  • Entry, exit, mergers and growth

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The Business Register contains stratification, collection and response information for Canadian businesses. The Business Register maintains a complete, up to date and unduplicated list on all active businesses in Canada that have a corporate income tax (T2) account, are an employer or have a GST account with an annual gross business income of over $30.000.

Instrument design

The various questionnaires, documents, letters and forms were developed to facilitate the collection of specific data relative to the legal and operating structures of a business

The information that is collected and processed is reviewed and presented to BR client divisions via the Joint Staff Committee and Contact Archive Tracking System (CATS).

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents, extracted from administrative files and derived from other Statistics Canada surveys and/or other sources.

The integrated (complex) portion (IP) of the Business Register represents approximately 20% of the total active businesses on the database and accounts for approximately 80% of the total economic activity in Canada. The non-integrated (non-complex) (NIP) portion represents approximately 80% of the total active businesses on the database and accounts for approximately 20% of the total economic activity in Canada. The focus of manual intervention is on the complex portion of the Business Register while automatic updates are on the non complex portion.

The Business Register is updated by various sources:
. The monthly BN Master File from Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA)
. Profiling of large and medium sized businesses; profiling is the process of conducting in-depth telephone or on-site interviews with senior company representatives so as to obtain all pertinent financial information, relationships, and structures about the company for a specified time frame
. Survey feedback; changes and corrections to frame data on the Business Register are transmitted regularly by survey collection areas during the collection of economic survey data
. Research gathering tools such as: the internet, provincial gazettes, trade and business publications and newspaper clippings.

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

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