At past, General Census of Businesses was conducted every decade according to the Law. The last one was conducted in 2003. The coverage of census was whole Turkey and the questionnaires applied to each businesses, except the optional activities described in BR Regulation. By this census, in addition to the common aims, such as detailed data set of economical activities and macroeconomic indicators, it was also aimed to check the Ministry of Finance (MoF) records in the field. Afterwards, it has been taken decision to use MoF records as the main administrative and updating source of BR System. In 2005, a legal agreement on data transfer has been signed between MoF and TurkStat. Records received from MoF through the relevant procedures; transformed into statistical units. Over the years, changes have taken place on the method of data transfer from MoF, the quality of the records have been increased as well as the definitions of MoF was redesigned according to international standards.

By the process of integration to the European Union (EU), Turkish Government signed many agreements and prepared a “National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis”. “Setting up a National Business Registers System” has been one of the topics under the Statistics Chapter. Thus, studies on BR were begun by early 2001 in TurkStat. Setting up a Business Registers System in Turkey was taken as a project and a team was organized for this. TurkStat experts first examined the EU regulations and documents.

Business Registers Group activated under the Methodology Department in 2001 and had been operating under the Department of Industry and Business Statistics since 2005. In line with the restructuring of TurkStat, Business Registers Group has started to continue its activity under the Department of Register Systems since late 2012.

TurkStat has ongoing studies to harmonize data on Business Registers with EU norms. In order to realize the improvement of BR System of Turkey, many studies have been executed since 2001 through the EU projects such as USST I-II Programme, Phare 2005, and MBP 2006. Setting up BR System and improvements on the system were the main topics of USST I and USST II projects. In line with USST II Programme, there were studies on improvement of BR, integration of Enterprise Groups (EGs) and Business Demography (BD) into the BR System. At the end of the USST II Programme, infrastructure of the BR System was built up.

As regards EGs pilot study and transition studies of NACE Rev.1.1 to NACE Rev.2, Phare 2005 was another project benefited from. Thereafter, the integration of EGs annual survey results to the BR System has been gradually performed. In the process of producing of BD statistics, there is no adequate administrative source including information on demographic events like merger, take-over, break up etc. On the other hand, studies on producing of BD data for Harmonized Data Collection (HDC) have already been started. The data source for these statistics is annual BR frames.

USST III is another project benefited by BR to cover the agricultural sector and institutional sector classification in BR. According to the BR Regulation, some new variables, units and required modules should be included into the BR System. Therefore, it has been aimed to benefit from both local and foreign experts in this project.

Today, Statistical Business Registers provides the framework for the studies conducted by not only TurkStat, but also by public sector and private sector institutions, universities and individual users.

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