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This directory contains UK data sources that include information on micro entrepreneurs, microbusinesses or self-employment. Find out more about the Directory of Micro Data Sources.

In addition to the datasets that can be searched for through this section of the portal, the UK’s Office for National Statistics also provides the Virtual Microdata Laboratory (VML). The VML provides access to the microdata used to produce many of ONS’ aggregate datasets.

Researchers researching microbusiness may find accessing some of the VML’s micro-datasets particularly useful, since it allows for, for example, the creation of control groups against which to compare microbusinesses with other types of business, or with each other. For example, the Business Structure Database microdata can be accessed through the VML and contains some microbusinesses, albeit the bulk of the businesses included are those registered for VAT, which many microbusinesses will not be.

Information regarding the Virtual Microdata Laboratory can be found by visiting relevant pages on ONS’ website.

Viewing 49 results:

Study / Data source title Data type Years Principal investigator Analysis unit More...
Annual Business Survey (ABS)Survey data and administrative data2008-2013Office for National StatisticsBusinesses in Great Britain registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2008-2013More...
Annual Population Survey (APS)Survey data2004-presentOffice for National Statistics. Social Survey DivisionPersons resident in the UK in private households, and young people living away from the parental home in student halls of residence or similar institutions during term time.More...
Annual Respondents Database (ARD)/Annual Business Inquiry (ABI)Survey data1973-2008Office for National StatisticsBusinesses in Great Britain (and Northern Ireland prior to 2002) registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1973-2008.More...
Annual Small Business Survey (ASBS)Survey data2003-2008Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory ReformUK Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with between 1 and 249 employeesMore...
Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE)Survey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort1997-2013Office for National StatisticsWorking individuals aged from 16 years residing and working in the UK in 1997-2013.More...
British Household Panel SurveySurvey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort1991-2009University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic ResearchIndividuals and households -People aged 16 years and over and household membersMore...
British Social Attitudes Survey (BSA)Survey data1983-presentNatCen Social ResearchAdults (18 and over) living in private households in Great Britain (excluding the 'crofting counties' north of the Caledonian Canal)More...
Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD)Survey data1994-2013Office for National StatisticsUK organisations that contributed to overall Research and Development activity and that were registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1994 - 2013More...
Business Population Estimates (BPE)Administrative & Survey data2010-presentDepartment for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)Data from Inter-Departmental Business Register (businesses operating VAT and/or PAYE schemes) plus estimates of the number of small, unregistered businesses using LFSMore...
Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES)Survey data2009-2013Office for National StatisticsBusinesses in Great Britain registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2009-2013More...
Business Structure Database (BSD)Administrative data: Individual business registration data1997-2014Office for National StatisticsBusinesses in the United Kingdom registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1997-2014More...
Business Structure Database LongitudinalAdministrative data: Individual business registration data (longitudinal)1997-2013Businesses in the United Kingdom registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1997-2013More...
Employer Skills Survey (UKESS)Survey data2011-presentUK Commission for Employment and SkillsAll establishments in the UK in 2013 with two or more people working at them (regardless of whether or not they owned the organisation) were eligible for the survey.More...
English Business Survey (EBS)Survey data2011-2012 Department for Business, Innovation and SkillsBusinesses in England that were registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2011 - 2012More...
Family Resources SurveySurvey data1993-presentDepartment for Work and Pensions, National Centre for Social Research, Office for National Statistics. Social and Vital Statistics DivisionPrivate households in the United KingdomMore...
Flash Eurobarometer Surveys on EntrepreneurshipSurvey data2002-presentEuropean CommissionSelf-employed individualsMore...
General Lifestyle Survey (GLS)Survey data1971-2011Office for National Statistics. Social and Vital Statistics DivisionIndividuals and households -People aged 16 years and over and household membersMore...
Human Resource Management and Performance in Small and Medium-sized EnterprisesSurvey data2004-2005Michie, J., University of Birmingham. Birmingham Business SchoolFirms in target sectors with between 5 and 100 employees, surveyed in 2004-2005More...
Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR)Administrative data: Individual business registration data1994-presentOffice for National StatisticsAll business in the UK since 1994/95 with the exception of very small businesses without VAT or PAYE schemes (self employed and those with low turnover and without employees) and some non-profit making organisations.More...
Labour Force Survey (LFS)Survey data: Repeated cross-sectional study1975-1991Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. Social Survey DivisioAll persons normally resident in private households in the United KingdomMore...
Labour Force Survey Two-Quarter Longitudinal Data SeriesSurvey data (Longitudinal/panel/cohort)1994-presentOffice of Population Censuses and Surveys. Social Survey DivisionIndividual: Men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59 at any linked quarterMore...
Life Opportunities SurveySurvey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort2009-2012Office for National Statistics. Social Survey DivisionPeople aged 16 and over in private households in Great Britain, comparing the experiences of disabled people with those of nondisabled peopleMore...
Living Costs and Food SurveySurvey data2001-presentOffice for National Statistics, Department for Environment, Food and Rural AffairsHouseholds in the United Kingdom, with the household reference person typically responding on behalf of the household as a wholeMore...
Monthly Inquiry into the Distribution and Services Sector ( MIDSS)Survey data1997-2009Office for National StatisticsService industries, defined by the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC), and that were registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1997 - 2009More...
Monthly Production Inquiry (MPI)Survey data1997-2009Office for National StatisticsBusinesses in the production sector, Standard Industrial Classification 2003 Sections C to E, registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 1997 - 2009.More...
National Employer Skills Survey (NESS)Survey data2007-2009Learning and Skills Council, UK Commission for Employment and SkillsEmployers in England registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2007 - 2009.More...
New Earnings Survey (NES)Survey data1986-2002Office for National StatisticsWorking individuals aged from 16 years residing and working in Great Britain in 1986-2002More...
NI Census of EmploymentSurvey data2009-presentNISRA Department of Finance and PersonnelA statutory enquiry of all non-agricultural business employers in Northern Ireland. Businesses are primarily identified on the basis that they have either a VAT or PAYE registration.More...
Northern Ireland Longitudinal Study (NILS)Survey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort1991-presentNISRA Department of Finance and PersonnelIncludes everyone who has 1 or 104 birthdays, thus forming an approximately 28% sample of the population of Northern Ireland.More...
Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study (ONS LS)Survey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort1971-presentOffice for National Statistics. Census DivisionIncludes everyone who has one of four birthdays, thus forming an approximately 1% sample of the population of England and Wales.More...
Opinions and Lifestyle SurveySurvey data1990-presentOffice for National Statistics. Social Survey DivisionAdults, aged 16 or over, living in private households in Great Britain.More...
Quarterly Economic Survey (QES)Survey data1989-presentThe British Chambers of CommerceMore...
Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS)Survey data: Repeated cross-sectional study1994-presentOffice for National Statistics. Social Survey Division, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Central Survey Unit,Individuals and households - People aged 16 years and over and household membersMore...
Scottish Employer Skills Survey (SESS)Survey data2008-2010Scottish Government. Education Analytical Services DivisionEmployers in Scotland in 2008-2010More...
Scottish Longitudinal Study (SLS)Survey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort1991-presentGeneral Register Office for ScotlandIndividuals usually resident on census day in Scotland, whether in private households or communal establishments, and who have one of 20 birthdays.More...
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Electronic CommerceSurvey data2000 Daniel, E., Cranfield School of Management. Information Systems Research CentreCompanies - small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with less than 250 employees, throughout Great Britain, during March-April, 2000More...
Small Business SurveySurvey data2010, 2012Department for Business, Innovation and SkillsSmall and Medium sized enterprises in the UK employing less than 250 people in 2010 - 2012More...
Small Firms and their EmployeesSurvey data2005-2006Edwards, P.K., University of Warwick. Industrial Relations Research UnitManagers and employees in small firms based in the East and West Midlands, surveyed during 2005-2006More...
Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise Finance MonitorSurvey data2011-2015BDRC ContinentalUK SMEs with up to 250 employeesMore...
SME Business BarometerSurvey data2009-presentDepartment for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)Owner/managers of SMEs employing between one and 249 peopleMore...
Social Capital and Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) PerformanceSurvey data2000-2002Cooke, P.N., Cardiff University. Centre for Advanced Studies, Clifton, N.C., Cardiff University. Centre for Advanced StudiesSmall and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in the UK, with under 200 employees, during 2000-2002. Respondents were predominantly owner-managers.More...
The Northern Ireland Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES)Survey data2010-presentNISRA Department of Finance and PersonnelA statutory enquiry of employers in Northern Ireland, carried out biennially under the Statistics of Trade and Employment (Northern Ireland)More...
The Quarterly Survey of Small Business in BritainSurvey data1984-presentThe Open University Business SchoolSmall and medium-sized firms drawn from a large telephone omnibus survey and a parallel online surveyMore...
UK Census: Aggregate DataSurvey data: aggregate1971-presentOffice for National Statistics. Census Division, General Register Office for Scotland, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research AgencyAll people present in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on census dayMore...
UK-IRC Survey of Business and Professional Service Firms (PBS)Survey data2011-2014University of Manchester. Manchester Business School, University of Cambridge. Centre for Business Research. Judge Business SchoolProfessional and business service firms in the United KingdomMore...
Understanding SocietySurvey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort2009-2013University of Essex. Institute for Social and Economic Research, NatCen Social ResearchIndividuals and households -People aged 16 years and over and household membersMore...
United Kingdom Survey of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises' FinancesSurvey data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort2004, 2007, 2008, 2009Fraser, S., University of Warwick. Warwick Business School. Centre for Small and Medium-sized EnterprisesSMEs in the UK, with up to 250 employeesMore...
Wealth and Assets Survey (WAS)Survey Data: Longitudinal/panel/cohort2006-2012Office for National Statistics. Social Survey DivisionIndividuals and households - People aged 16 years and over and household members (excluding those aged 16-18 currently in full-time education)More...
Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS6)Survey data1980-presentDepartment for Business, Innovation and Skills, Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, National Institute of Economic and Social ResearchStudy based on 3 surveys: The Survey of Managers, The Survey of Worker Representatives, The Survey of Employees across almost every sector of the economy in Great BritainMore...