Aim of this survey

The Business Register Survey (BRS) is a quarterly survey conducted to update the list of UK businesses that may qualify to complete Office for National Statistics (ONS) business surveys. This will ensure that we minimise respondent burden by only contacting businesses when it is necessary.

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information: 

  • A corresponding Vat and / or PAYE reference

  • A breakdown of all your operating sites along with the number of employees, both full-time and part-time

  • Company Activity

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

Survey information

Selection criteria

UK trading businesses registered for Value Added Tax or Pay As You Earn, or with Companies House.


Approximately 12000 per year (Split out over 4 quarters, Quarter 3 being the largest).



Dispatch dates

Quarter 1 – 25 July
Quarter 2 – 24 October
Quarter 3 – 23 January
Quarter 4 – 24 April

Return-by date

Quarter 1 – 22 August
Quarter 2 – 21 November
Quarter 3 – 21 February
Quarter 4 – 22 May

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change because of national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a directory of businesses in the UK that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE or with Companies House. Your response ensures we represent your industry.

The Business Register Survey is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

Why you have received this survey

We survey businesses of all sizes to ensure our statistics are representative of the UK economy. We select large businesses (those with 100 or more employees) for any relevant ONS business surveys because their information is so significant. We select some small and medium businesses, usually for a set period of time, then replace them with other businesses from their industry. They are very important to us as their trading patterns are often very different to large businesses.

How to complete this survey

Please complete and return the questionnaire following the guidelines on the front page.

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

At the moment, this survey is not available to complete online, but we have developed a secure data collection platform and are gradually moving our business surveys online. You will receive a letter notifying you when you can complete the Business Register Survey on our new platform. We appreciate your patience.

If you need help

If your question is not answered on this page, you may be able to find the answer in the About ONS business surveys section.

You can call us on 0300 1234 922. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 241.

From outside the UK: +44 1633 456963.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.