The ONS closed its Data Explorer (beta) service on 12 May 2017. [This blog] provides details surrounding the closure. A [replacement service is under development and is at an early Alpha stage] and will ultimately become the platform for UK Business, Size Activity and Location open data. In the interim, please access the data via [NOMIS] for more detail and analysis. You will need to choose the query data option and then choose UK Business counts from the list.
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An enterprise is a statistical unit, defined as the smallest group of legal units (generally based on VAT or PAYE) within an enterprise group (where one exists) that have a certain degree of autonomy or control. An enterprise is essentially a business. It is generally located at the main operating site or the head office. For small businesses the head office and the operations often will be at the same address. For larger businesses, for example a supermarket chain with several hundred shops across the UK, the head office is likely to be in London or another large city and the operational units (local units or sites) will be at numerous addresses throughout the country.
A local unit is a statistical unit in an enterprise, defined as the individual site (shop, factory, etc) situated in a geographically identified place. At a local unit, economic activity is carried out by one or more persons (even if only part-time) working for one and the same enterprise.
The Standard Industrial Classification (UK SIC 2007) is a hierarchical classification system grouping business establishments and other statistical units by the type of economic activity in which they are engaged.
Units are classed into size bands by employment information taken from the IDBR, drawn mainly from the Business Register Survey (BRS). Because this is based on a sample of enterprises, estimates from previous returns and from other ONS surveys have also been used. For the smallest units, either PAYE jobs or employment imputed from VAT turnover is used.
The legal status of units is classified in accordance with National Accounts Sector Classifications in conjunction with information received from Companies House and the administrative sources - Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) schemes - from HM Revenue & Customs.
In 2015, we extended the coverage of businesses in the release to include a population of solely PAYE based businesses that were previously excluded because of a risk of duplication. In total 105,000 businesses were added in 2015. Improvements in matching of administrative data and research into those units excluded has indicated that the risk of duplication is very small. The addition of these businesses brings the publication in line with Business Demography and the BEIS Business Population Estimates, which both include these businesses. A [more detailed note] has been written explaining these changes.
For BAA01b, BAD01 and BAF01, 2015 data is based on 2001 Census boundaries and 2016 data is based on 2011 Census boundaries.
Datasets are ordered chronologically then alphabetically. For 2016, please use datasets UKBAA01a to UKBAI. For 2015, please use UKBAA02 to UKBAF02. For 2014, please use UKBA01a to UKBI.