The Business Formation Statistics (BFS) are an experimental data product of the U.S. Census Bureau developed in research collaboration with economists affiliated with Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, University of Maryland, and University of Notre Dame.

About the Business Formation Statistics

The new BFS dataset provides timely and high frequency information on new business applications and formations in the United States.  The data series is updated annually to revise information on business formations (i.e., firm births or start-ups), and now is included in the monthly and quarterly economic indicators released by the Census Bureau.

While the annual update is typically done in the third quarter of each year, this year's annual update is planned for sometime in 2020 to accommodate the ongoing modernization of the methodology for the Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) program that generates data on business formations.

The Business Dynamics Statistics Program

The BDS data program provides annual measures of business dynamics (such as job creation and destruction, establishment births and deaths, and firm start-ups and shut downs) for the economy, aggregated by establishment and firm characteristics. 


Other Business Data Sources

The Census' County Business Patterns (CBP) provides subnational economic data by industry, including the number of establishments, employment, first quarter payroll, and annual payroll.  

Also, Census' Statistics of U.S. Businesses (SUSB) offers detailed annual data for U.S. business establishments by geography, industry, and enterprise size.

Nonemployer Statistics (NES) are an annual Census series that provides subnational economic data for businesses that have no paid employees and are subject to federal income tax.

Small business data and trends analysis can be found on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website.  SBA has Small Business Profiles for States and Territories available, too.

In addition, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) offers a Business Employment Dynamics (BED) data series, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis also conducts a Survey of Current Businesses (SCB).           

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