U.S. Department of Commerce

2012 Economic Census



Business Help Site
Skip top of page navigation

Due Date

February 12, 2013

Legal/Confidentiality

This area addresses the Census Bureau's authority to gather these data and the protections guaranteed to your company.

 Confidentiality of Reported Data


Title 13 U.S. Code, Section 9, provides complete protection for all reported information. YOUR CENSUS REPORT IS CONFIDENTIAL. It may be seen only by persons sworn to uphold the confidentiality of Census Bureau information and may be used only for statistical purposes. Our publications provide no information about individual company operations.

In addition, the forms you send to us and copies you retain are immune from legal action. Federal law specifically exempts the reports from the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

View Section 9 of Title 13

 Legal Authority to Conduct the Economic Census and Surveys


Title 13 of the U.S. Code, Section 131, directs the Census Bureau to conduct the economic census at 5-year intervals covering years ending in 2 and 7. Title 13, Section 182, authorizes the Census Bureau to conduct monthly, quarterly, and annual surveys to furnish more timely reports on subjects covered by the economic census.

View Sections 131 and 182 of Title 13

 Use of Data Your Company Reported to Other Government Agencies

We make extensive use of administrative information from other government agencies in order to help reduce your reporting burden. These provide basic data - total receipts, total payroll, and total employment - needed to produce statistics for geographic areas and types of businesses.

However, we must obtain data from all large companies and a small, scientifically designed sample of smaller ones, in order to provide data on a wide range of subjects covered by the censuses.

Confidentiality of data used from other federal agencies is strictly enforced. Also, please note that these same agencies cannot obtain data for an individual establishment or company from us.

Full Text of Laws Authorizing and Controlling Data Collection by the Census Bureau

The following links are provided for additional information only.

Title 13 U.S.C.
Title 15 U.S.C.
Title 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35 Sec. 3501-3520

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | EC2012 BHS Team |   Last Revised: July 30, 2013 12:36:17