Canadian business counts, establishment and location counts, employment size and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), December 2017

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Canadian business patterns data provide counts of active establishments by industry classification and employment size categories. The data are compiled from the Business Register, which is a repository of information on the Canadian business population.

As of June 2015, this product's name has been changed from Canadian Business Patterns to Canadian Business Counts.  Changes to the methodology since the December 2014 release affect the number of businesses falling into certain categories.  Some changes are described below, but users can also refer to the Definitions and Concepts document for more detailed information (see external link or User guide included on this catalogue page).

A number of changes that occurred for the December 2014 reference period resulted in a significant increase in the total number of businesses in Canada. The changes are the following:

There are two sets of CANSIM tables replacing the previous set of tables:
   - Locations with employees (CANSIM 552-000x)
   - Locations without employees (CANSIM 553-000x)

There are two general industrial classification categories:
   - Unclassified: new category for businesses which have not received a NAICS code
   - Classified: existing category for businesses which have received a NAICS code

The impact of adding the unclassified category is an additional 78,718 locations with employees and 313,107 locations without employees. These counts can be easily identifiable because they are in a separate category.
Businesses without employees correspond to the “indeterminate” employment category from the previous reference periods. The counts of businesses without employees now cover all enterprises which meet one of the following criteria:
   - is incorporated
   - shows a minimum of $30,000 in revenue (non-taxable and/or taxable)
This change affects businesses that did not have $30,000 in taxable revenue in previous years but did have at least $30,000 in overall (non-taxable and taxable) revenue. These businesses will now be included and represent approximately 600,000 units. Business counts in NAICS 53 - Real estate and rental and leasing and 62 - Health care and social assistance have the largest increases.


For further information on "establishments" and "locations", see Page 8 of this Statistics Canada guide.

Statistics Canada advises users not to use these data as a time series.

See image below on how to change the label on the geography dimension of the CMA/CA/CT file in order to see the CT names:



Years within data: 


File format: 

  • ivt

Variable terms: 

Date released: 

Friday, March 2, 2018

CANSIM number: 

551-0001 to 551-0006 (from December 2011 to June 2014) TERMINATED

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Canadian business counts, establishment and location counts, employment size and North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), December 2017

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