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Information for Respondents

The collection period for the 2021 Annual Business Survey (ABS) is now open.


The Annual Business Survey (ABS) provides estimates for all nonfarm employer businesses filing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more. In addition, the ABS will also provide estimates on non-profit organizations.

  • The ABS is conducted jointly by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) within the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Census Bureau for five collection years (2018 – 2022), covering reference years 2017 - 2021.
  • All nonfarm employer businesses filing Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax forms as individual proprietorships, partnerships, or any type of corporation, and with receipts of $1,000 or more are eligible for selection in the ABS sample.
  • All nonprofit organizations, except those operating in the Public Administration and Education Industries; as well as Religious Organizations, are eligible for selection in the ABS sample.
  • Provides statistics on the number of firms, sales/receipts, annual payroll, and employment by sex, ethnicity, race, and veteran status as well as R&D and Innovation and various other relevant topics.

Ready to Report or Need Assistance?

To report online:

  1. Sign-in or Register at
  2. Add your authentication code.
  3. Report by clicking on “REPORT NOW.”  You can return to your account over multiple sessions to complete.
  4. For assistance completing this survey, please sign-in to your Census Bureau account at and send us a secure message or call the customer help line at 1-888-824-9954, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
  5. Please visit How Do I Get Started? for additional information.
  6. Please visit How-To Video for information on ‘Signing into the Respondent’ portal, via your Census Bureau account.
  7. For survey specific information, please visit our FAQ's.


The survey does not need to be completed in one sitting. You may save and exit the survey and return later to continue.

Respondent Materials

To help you prepare for online reporting, click on the appropriate survey questions and instructions below.

Some questions may not be applicable to all respondents. Specific questions are shown based on your response to select questions. The reporting tool will direct you to the appropriate questions. If you were requested to respond to the Research Activities at Nonprofit Organizations module, please see section C of the 2021 Annual Business Survey.

(All survey are in Adobe PDF file format and are for informational purposes only)

Preview Survey Questions

pdf ABS_2021 [<1.0 MB]



Title 13, United States Code, Sections 8(b), 131, and 182; Title 42, United States Code, Section 1861-76 (National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended); and Section 505 within the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, authorize this collection.  Sections 224 and 225 of Title 13, require your response.


The U.S. Census Bureau is required by Section 9 of Title 13 to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics.  The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify your business, organization, or institution. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit data.

Survey Legitimacy

Below are a few common items you can use to verify the legitimacy of this survey:

  1. Ensure the Web address provided in the letter is a "" domain.
  2. Correspondence sent in the form of a letter or email will contain reporting instructions and a phone number for survey assistance. Any email correspondence related to this survey will come from a address.
  3. On the sign-in screen, a warning message should be present stating the respondent is accessing a U.S. Government computer.
  4. After clicking on the “Report Now” button in the Respondent Portal, the OMB Number and OMB Approval Expiration information will appear in the upper right on all screens of the electronic reporting instrument. The bottom of the sign-in screen should have a link for the “Burden Statement” which also contains the OMB eight-digit number.


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