Wholesale and retail trade and service activities;Construction, housing and property

Business activities, structural business statistics2017


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Business activities, structural business statistics
Topic: Wholesale and retail trade and service activities

Responsible division

Division for Structural Business Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables


In the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) an enterprise is the smallest combination of legal entities that is an organizational unit producing goods or services, which benefits from a certain degree of autonomy in decision making.

Local kind-of-activity unit (local KAU)

The SIC defines a local KAU as a functional unit, which at a single physical location is engaged primarily in activities within a specific activity group.


Owners include owners of sole proprietorships, or general partnerships, and family members who work for the enterprise on a daily basis without receiving regular wages. Co-owners of limited companies and cooperatives who are paid for working for the enterprise are not included, nor are family members of owners of sole proprietorships or general partnerships when they receive regular wages.


The number of employees is collected through the Register of Employees and Employers (the Aa-register). An employee is a person that works for an employer and receive compensation in the form of wages, pay, fee, bonuses, payment in kind etc. There are conditions that the work should last for at least six days and that the employee must be employed on average four or more hours a week for the employee to be notifiable to the Aa-register.


Employment is the sum of owners and employees. Compared to the Registerbased Employment Statistics http://www.ssb.no/regsys_en/ where persons are counted only in the main industry where they are employed, the structural statistics allows persons with more than one job to be counted as employee in several industries at the same time. The statistics on employment will therefore not be directly comparable.

Employment figures in the structural statistics show an average number during the year.

Temporary staff from employment agencies are not included in the employment figures.

Turnover is defined as the sum of remuneration for rendering of services to customers and sales of merchandise, and gross income from other activities. Rental income, commissions and special taxes are included, while subsidies and profits from sales of business assets are not. VAT is not included in the statistics.


Merchandise is goods bought and resold with no added value.

Compensation of employees
Compensation of employees includes wages, holiday pay, fees, etc., employer's national insurance contribution, reportable pension costs and other personnel costs. Compensation of employees does not include remuneration to owners of sole proprietorships or partnerships or to family members without regular wages.

Production value
Production value means sales corrected for changes in stocks of finished goods, work in progress, and goods and services purchased for resale. Purchases of goods and services for resale are deducted, while capitalized own investment work is added.


Value added
Value added is figured as the sum of production value less the purchase of goods and services (for other goods and services than those purchased for resale) and special public taxes, and corrected for changes in stocks of raw materials and consumer goods. Special public subsidies for manufactured/sold merchandise and other public subsidies/reimbursements are included.


Gross investments
Gross investments are the total value of new capital goods such as buildings and plant, machinery, tools, implements, software, vehicles (except for personal use), both new and used. Improvements are added while sales of used capital stock are deducted. Investment figures are minus incoming value added tax.

This includes investments in new assets and improvements of own assets.

New investments include all newly acquired fixed assets acquired and completed in the course of the year, excluding investments in unimproved property. In assessing the value of the business asset, cost price is used for purchases and production cost for own manufactures. Acquisitions through financial leasing are included when the asset is entered as an asset in the balance sheet.

Improvement of own assets includes the value of all capitalized improvements and major repairs purchased and executed by others and/or undertaken by own employees on own business assets. A precondition is that such improvements increase the efficiency/value of and/or prolong the lifetime of the business asset. The improvement is estimated at purchase price at time of purchase or at production cost when it is manufactured.

Sale of business assets
Sale of business assets is estimated at the sales value (replacement value) upon realization of used business assets over the course of the year. The amount includes investment tax. The business asset is regarded as sold when it is delivered.

Standard classifications

The Standard Industrial Classification (SN2007) used in Statistics Norway is based on the EU's NACE-standard.

Administrative information

Regional level

National level

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Annual

Timeliness: The statistics should be published within 10 months from the end of the reference period

International reporting

The statistics are reported to EUROSTAT


Primary data and information on sample units and population are stored temporarily in the programming language SAS, and stored permanently as text-files.


Background and purpose

The structural business statistics for real estate, renting and business activities are a part of the industrial statistics of Statistics Norway, and present detailed information about the activities in this sector on the basis of financial information.

The statistics are compiled in accordance with the EU regulation on structural business statistics, and were first published in 1979. Since 1995 final results have been published on both the enterprise level and the local kind-of-activity unit (local KAU) level. Preliminary figures for turnover and employment on the enterprise level were published for the first time for 2001 in accordance with the EU regulation.

Users and applications

Users include public and private sector agencies, private organizations, individuals and international organizations such as EUROSTAT, as well as the National Accounts and other divisions of Statistics Norway.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway's key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally

Coherence with other statistics

The structural business statistics for real estate, renting and business activities are adapted to the EU regulation on structural business statistics, in the same way as the structural business statistics for wholesale and retail trade, transport and communication, hotel and restaurants and construction are compiled by Statistics Norway.

Short-term statistics are published for certain industries in addition to the structural statistics. These show figures for shorter periods than one year and usually for the entire country as a whole.

The structural business statistics are used as a base when making the National accounts.

Legal authority

Statistics Act Sections 2-2 and 2-3

EEA reference

Council Regulation no. 58/97 of 20 December 1996, changed 11 of March 2008 (EC) No. 295/2008 of the European Parliament



The structural statistics for real estate, renting and business activities are organized according to the NACE-standard (see section 4.2) and include the following industry divisions:

68 Real estate activities

69 Legal and accounting activities

70 Activities of head offices; management consultancy activities

71 Architecture and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis

72 Scientific research and development

73 Advertising and market research

74 Other professional, scientific and technical activities

75 Veterinary activities

77 Rental and leasing activities

78 Employment activities

79 Travel agency, tour operator and other reservation service activities

80 Security and investigation activity

81 Service to buildings and landscape activity

82 Office administrative, office support and other business support activities

The structural business statistics comprise most of the enterprises that are registered in the abovementioned industry divisions, as long as the enterprise was registered with activity in Norway in the relevant statistical year.

The exception is enterprises within the public service sectors 110, 510 and 550. Such units are not included in the structural business statistics for transport and communication even though they should happen to have operations in one of the abovementioned industries.

However, all other enterprises in the public sector or owned by the public sector, i.e. units with sector codes 610, 630, 635, 660 and 680, are included in the statistics if they have activity in one of the abovementioned industries.

Data sources and sampling

For a sample of the enterprises in the population, including all enterprises with more than one local kind-of-activity unit (local KAU), the statistics are based on Trading Statements (NO) and a supplementary questionnaire. The Trading Statements are either attached to the questionnaires or submitted electronically via the Norwegian Internal Revenue Service.

Information, like the accounts and turnover, about the enterprises with only one local KAU outside the sample is obtained from the Register of Annual Company Reports in Brønnøysund, the VAT Register and/or trading statements (NO) electronically submitted via the Norwegian Internal Revenue Service. The remaining enterprises with only one local KAU are asked to report turnover through the structural survey of Statistics Norway.

From the statistical year 2015 the number of employees is collected via  A-ordningen, where employers are obligated to submit monthly reports for everyone who receives wages and salaries. Previously, these figures were collected through the register of Employers and Employees. These two sources are not directly comparable.

The Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises is used to obtain necessary information about the population. The VAT Register, the Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, information from trade organizations and direct input from the enterprises are used to update the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises.

The population consists of all enterprises in the relevant industry divisions with registered activity in the reference year. The population is divided into subpopulations, called strata, after criteria like industrial classification and number of employees. In some of the strata, all enterprises are always included in the sample. From the remaining strata, a representative selection of enterprises is drawn. All enterprises in this sample are asked to report a full set of Trading Statements and to complete a questionnaire.

This detailed survey of accounting data is combined with the additional information from the various registers and the structural survey of Statistics Norway to form the basis for the estimation of the financial structures of the different industries and the sector as a whole.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The questionnaires are sent out within three months after the end of the statistical year, with a response deadline of three or four weeks. The enterprises that do not respond on the first letter will be given reminders in writing for about a further six months from the first deadline.

Revisions and corrections are carried out on the information obtained from the sample population and the structural survey. The raw data are checked against reports for last year, the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises, the Register of Annual Company Reports in Brønnøysund and other available sources, and by contacting the respondent if necessary.

For the enterprises where a complete NO with supplementary form exists, no variables are estimated. For these enterprises the information in the forms are used.

Afterwards we used the existing data from the annual accounts according to the Register of Annual Company Accounts and split them up into respective sub items according to the relative shares shown in the data from the NO sample. We subsequently took data according to the Structural Survey and from the "VAT Register" into account in the statistical calculation.

The other items are estimated according to the division in the sample (organized by subclass and same size groups with respect to turnover, operating expenditure or other relevant distribution keys).

Enterprises with sales according to the VAT Register or Structural Survey

The NO items are estimated with sales as a key for the enterprises outside the sample where sales are obtained from the "VAT Register" or from the Structural Survey.

Employment figures

Employment figures for the enterprises in the population are mainly obtained via  A-ordningen. If information about employment is not available there it can be calculated from wages and salaries.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


If less than three enterprises/Local KAUs represents a statistical variable, the numbers are not published. The reason is the risk that the units can be identified. This is especially critical when regional data are published.

Comparability over time and space

Preliminary figures for turnover and employment on the enterprise level were published for the first time for the reference year of 2001. Preliminary figures are published while data are still under revision, and may therefore deviate from the final figures that are published within 18 months of the end of the reference year. Preliminary data for the enterprises in the sample that has not yet responded at the time of publishing are estimated by using other sources.

Generally, when making comparisons with previously published figures it must be kept in mind that older data may have been corrected during later revisions. Updating of industries in the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises may also have caused revisions for some of the industries. These changes have not been dated back.

From the statistical year 2015 the number of employees is collected via A-ordningen, Previously, these figures were collected through the register of Employers and Employees. These two sources are not directly comparable.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Returned questionnaires are read optically and automatically checked. An optical image of the form is first saved electronically and then checked manually in order to ensure that the primary data are as correct as possible. Nevertheless, the results of a statistical survey may contain some measurement and processing errors.

Measurement errors occur when the provider of the data gives incorrect answers due to forgetfulness, misunderstanding of questions etc.

Processing errors are errors from coding or errors that occur during the transferring of information from the questionnaire to a machine-readable medium or during revisions.

Non-response, that is when the respondent does not return the form or returns the form with incomplete information, will always be an aspect of form-based surveys. In the structural business statistics, non-respondent enterprises are treated the same way as enterprises outside the sample population.

Not relevant

In the structural business statistics, the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises, the Register of Annual Company Reports in Brønnøysund, the VAT Register and the Register of Employees and Employers (the Aa-Register) are used in order to define the population and help collect the necessary data.

Errors in these administrative registers - like time gaps in registration, incorrectly identified unit characteristics etc. may therefore be a potential source of uncertainty in the statistics and may for instance have an impact when dividing the population into adequate strata.


Not relevant