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Business Formation Statistics

Business Formation Statistics (BFS) are a standard data product of the U.S. Census Bureau developed at the Center for Economic Studies 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. BFS provide timely and high frequency information on new business applications and formations in the United States.

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  • Notice: The latest annual update was applied during the October 2023 monthly release on November 13, 2023. During the annual update, underlying NAICS codes are revised each year for the previous five years when more accurate and detailed NAICS codes may be available from administrative sources. The Formation series are updated annually to revise information on business formations (firm births) from the Business Dynamic Statistics (BDS) program. Also, seasonal factors are recomputed and applied during the annual update, resulting in revisions to our seasonally adjusted series.
  • Notice: Annual Business Applications by County was released on June 29, 2023. The annual release adds data for 2022 and incorporates revisions for previously published 2021 and 2020 annual county counts.
  • Notice: Weekly Business Application data with industry detail, as classified by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), was released on February 2, 2023. This updated release adds data through 2022. It also incorporates revisions to the underlying NAICS code assignment methodology for previously published weekly BFS by industry data. The data is available on our Special Projects portion of our website.
  • Notice: As of December 8, 2021, the monthly Business Formation Statistics is a standard data product.
  • Notice: The High-Propensity Business Application definition has been revised to the following: a) from a corporate entity,(b) that indicate they are hiring employees, (c) that provide a first wages-paid date (planned wages); or (d) that have a NAICS industry code in accommodation and food services (72) or in portions of construction (237, 238), manufacturing (312, 321, 322, 332), retail (44, 452), professional, scientific, and technical services (5411, 5413), educational services (6111), and health care (621, 623). For more details on this process, our most recent revision, and our linking approach of the previous and revised definition, please see our methodology.
  • FRED Mobile App: Receive the latest updates on the nation's key economic indicators by downloading the FRED App for both Apple and Android devices. FRED, the signature database of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, now incorporates the Census Bureau's 13 economic indicators.
  • API: The URL for the economic indicators data in the Census Bureau API (Application Programming Interface ) has been updated to add /timeseries/. Examples can be found on the Developers' webpage.
  • Historical Announcements: See our Previous Announcements document for historical BFS announcements.

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