The Universe of “County Business Patterns”

County Business Patterns includes more than 6,000,000 single-unit establishments, and over 1.8 million multiunit establishments. The Census Bureau’s source for information about employer establishments that are included in the County Business Patterns is the Business Register. The Business Register is a multi-relational database which contains records for every known establishment located in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Island Areas (American Samoa and Guam), U.S.

Single Unit Company

A variety of survey and administrative records provide descriptive information about a single-unit establishment within the County Business Patterns universe. This includes geographic location, industry classifications, legal form of organization classes, payroll and employment. EIN administrative records are the most commonly used source of information about single-unit establishments. They also include updates on industry classification and geographic location from Census Bureau conducted survey.

Multi-Unit Company

Multi-unit companies have a different structure that connects them with their establishments via the EIN. A multi-unit company is typically associated with a group of EINs. EINs can be associated with one or several establishments. Multi-unit companies are made up of at most two establishments. Each company has at least one EIN. Only one company can use an EIN. Multi-unit companies may have multiple EINs. Similar to establishments, EINs can be associated with multiple establishments. Although each EIN can be associated with multiple establishments, each establishment can only be associated with one EIN. There is the possibility of many-to-many relationships. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between the establishments and the EINs. Each establishment owned by multi-unit companies on the Business Register is identified with a unique Business Analyst Internship employer unit identification number.

Legal form of organization

Administrative record sources are used to determine the Legal Form of Organization (LFO), for County Business Patterns establishments. County Business Patterns publishes U.S. data starting with 2008 and state data starting with 2010.

  • All Establishments
  • C-Corporations, and other legal forms of corporate organization
  • S-Corporations
  • Sole Proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Non-profits
  • Government
  • Other

The U.S.-level and state-level data for Legal Form of Organization are available. They include information about the number of establishments, employees and first-quarter payrolls. Annual payrolls and annual payrolls by NAICS industry and class.

Employment Services

County Business Patterns has seen a steady rise in the number of PEOs and other employment service establishments (NAICS5613) over the last few years. Sometimes the employees may not be classified in the dominant industry of the client business. These employees may be paid by employment services firms through one payroll office. This could lead to the employment and payroll data of the leasing company being reported in the county in which the payroll office is located. This can cause distortions in the data for the county. Sometimes, multiple payroll offices may pay thousands of employees. For geographic purposes, the name of employee-leasing offices may be listed in the “statewideā€¯ category in states that have such payroll offices. These establishments serve multiple counties.