The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) is a comprehensive list of UK businesses used by government for statistical purposes. It is fully compliant with the European Union regulation on harmonisation of business registers for statistical purposes (EC No 177/2008).

The IDBR provides the main sampling frame for surveys of businesses carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and other government departments. It is also an important data source for analyses of business activities.

The two main sources of input are Value Added Tax (VAT) and Pay As You Earn (PAYE) records from HMRC. Additional information comes from Companies House, Dun and Bradstreet and ONS business surveys. The IDBR covers around 2.7 million businesses in all sectors of the economy, but since the main two tax sources have thresholds, very small businesses operating below these will, in most cases, not be included.

All data on the IDBR are treated as OFFICIAL SENSITIVE and are protected by the Code of Practice for Official Statistics and by specific legislation.

We make data from the IDBR available in three ways:

1. Published data

2. Non-disclosive data analysis service (DAS)

Our data analysis service can be tailored to your needs for non-disclosive data relating to the UK Business: Activity Size and Location publication and the Business Demography publication.

We publish data requested on our website. If the information you need has not previously been published, please contact us with details of your requirements. Bespoke requests may be chargeable.

3. Disclosive data (including local authorities)

We only release disclosive data to authorised outside bodies and contractors working for government departments, once they have successfully applied to the Microdata Release Panel.

There are four types of disclosive data services:

  • sampling
  • data matching
  • extracts
  • local authority datasets provided to local authorities about their own areas

For queries regarding disclosive data, please email:

For general IDBR queries, please email:

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