Discover Data

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 23 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 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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-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...
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...