There were many factors considered when designing the forms for the economic census.
View sample 2007 Economic Census forms.
Before each economic census, the Census Bureau consults a variety of experts, both within and outside the federal government. The principal sources of advice to the agency over the long term are its public advisory committees and key federal data users. Specific industry associations and companies are consulted on particular points, such as the content of a questionnaire.
The Census Scientific Advisory Committee provides scientific and technical expertise to address Census Bureau program needs and objectives. The committee meets twice a year to advise the Bureau on a wide range of issues affecting its programs.
The Census Bureau works closely with the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in to ensure its programs meet BEA's needs for constructing the national accounts. The Census Bureau also works with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to assist in their efforts, particularly for constructing producer price indexes. A comprehensive review of all individual census forms was undertaken with BEA and BLS during 2010.
For 2012 Economic Census forms, the Census Bureau contacted approximately 1,000 trade associations beginning in January 2010 to solicit recommendations and comments.
All Economic Census forms are submitted to the Office of Management and Budget for final approval. At least 60 days before those submissions, "pre-submission notices" are published in the Federal Register.