Agents and Brokers
- Persons or organizations that act as a representative for others in
negotiating contracts, purchases, or sales. Agents and brokers typically
earn a commission or fee for their services and do not take possession of,
or title to, any goods.
Annual Wholesale Trade Survey
- A mandatory annual survey which collects sales and inventory data from the
major components of wholesale trade: Agents and Brokers, Distributors,
Manufacturer's Sales Branches and Offices (see "MSBOs"), Importers and
- Also known as enterprise support units of a reporting company, these are
primarily engaged in furnishing supporting services to the company's
operating units, such as warehouses, central administrative offices,
garages, and repair services.
- See 'Annual Wholesale Trade Survey'
- See 'Business Master File'
- Warehouses that are authorized by the United States Customs for storage or
manufacturing of goods on which payment of duties is deferred until the
goods are removed into Customs Territory. These goods are not subject to
duties if reshipped to foreign points.
Business Master File
- The Business Master file is a database of information maintained on
businesses operating in the United States and filing taxes. The IRS updates
the BMF on a regular basis so that it reflects current records of each
business that pays taxes. The BMF is used to supplement the Census Bureau's
Calendar Month Reporter
- A firm that closes their books on the last day of each month, or on the
same date each month (e.g., the 28th).
- Also known as capital expenditures, this includes all expenditures during
the year for both new and used structures and equipment chargeable to asset
accounts for which depreciation or amortization accounts are ordinarily
maintained. Also included are capitalized leasehold improvements and
capitalized interest charges on loans used to finance capital projects.
- Title 13 of the United States Code authorizes the Census Bureau to conduct
censuses and surveys. Section 9 of the same Title requires that any
information collected from the public under the authority of Title 13 be
maintained as confidential. Section 214 of Title 13 and Sections 3559 and
3571 of Title 18 of the United States Code provide for the imposition of
penalties of up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines for
wrongful disclosure of confidential census information. In accordance with
Title 13, no estimates are published that would disclose the operations of
an individual firm. The Census Bureau's internal Disclosure Review Board
sets the confidentiality rules for all data releases. A checklist approach
is used to ensure that all potential risks to the confidentiality of the
data are considered and addressed.
Cost of goods sold
- Beginning inventory plus purchases of goods for resale minus ending
- The month for which data are being requested.
- The process by which the Census Bureau protects individual establishments
or business organizations' information from being published in a report or
being determined based on a publication. This is done in accordance with
- A wholesaler that buys and owns (takes title to) products prior to
reselling them to its customers.
- When a manufacturer drops a shipment off at a customer's site, although a
wholesaler makes the sale.
- The sale of goods and services where the buyer places an order, or the
price and terms of the sale are negotiated over an Electronic Data
Interchange, the Internet, or any other online system (extranet, e-mail,
instant messaging). Payment may or may not be made online.
- See 'Electronic Data Interchange'
- See 'Employer Identification Number'
Electronic Data Interchange
- The exchange of documents in standardized electronic form between
organizations in an automated manner directly from a computer application in
one organization to an application in another.
Employer Identification Number
- A nine-digit number used to report payroll information to the Internal
Revenue Service on Employer's Quarterly Tax Return, Treasury Form 941, and
the Annual Tax Return, Treasury Form 944. The law requires firms with paid
employees to make contributions to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act
(FICA). Employer identification numbers are grouped as follows: 00-0000000
with the first two digits identifying the state in which the firm is
located. Employer identification numbers should not be confused with Social
Security Numbers assigned to individual employees or self-employed persons.
The latter are grouped as follows: 000-00-0000.
- A single physical location where business is conducted or where services
or industrial operations are performed.
- See Total Operating Expenses
- A business organization or entity consisting of one or more domestic
establishment locations under common ownership or control.
Foreign Trade Zones
- Enclosed areas, operated as public utilities, under control of United
States Customs with facilities for handling, storing, manipulating,
manufacturing, and exhibiting goods. The merchandise may be exported,
destroyed, or sent into Customs Territory from the zone in the original
package or otherwise. It is subject to Customs duties if sent into Customs
Territory, but not if reshipped to foreign points.
- Sales minus cost of goods sold.
- Commodities of foreign origin or domestically produced goods that are
returned to the United States with no change in condition or after having
been processed and/or assembled in other countries.
- Process used to resolve problems of missing, invalid, or inconsistent
responses identified during editing. Responses or missing values on the
edited record are changed to ensure that a plausible, internally coherent
record is created.
- Interest expense incurred in the financing of operations and long lived
assets used in continuing operations, and excludes transfers made within the
company and capitalized interest. For kinds of business covered in this
survey, interest is not considered a type of operating expense.
- The value, at cost, of merchandise on hand and available for sale at the
end of the reference month. All goods owned by a firm, regardless of
location, except goods outside the United States are included. Items not
held for resale, such as fixtures, equipment, and supplies are excluded.
Also excluded is the value of goods on a firm's premises but not owned by
- Also, I/S ratio; A ratio derived from dividing the dollar value of
inventories by the dollar value of sales. No adjustment is made in these
ratios for the markup in sales, which may vary from trade to trade.
- See 'Kind of Business'
Kind of Business
- The principal kind of business being conducted at an establishment.
- Establishments in the manufacturing sector are often described as plants,
factories, or mills, and characteristically use power-driven machines and
material-handling equipment. Manufacturing establishments may process
materials, or may contract with other establishments to process their
materials for them. Both types of establishments are included in
Manufacturers' Sales Branches and Offices
- Establishments maintained by manufacturing, refining, or mining
enterprises apart from their plants or mines for the purpose of marketing
their products. Sales branches will typically carry inventories, while sales
offices typically do not.
- Wholesalers who sell goods on their own account such as distributors,
jobbers, drop shippers, import/export merchants, and MSBOs.
- See 'Manufacturers' Sales Branches and Offices'
- See 'Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey'
Monthly Wholesale Trade Survey
- A voluntary monthly survey which collects sales and inventories data for
- Firms with two or more establishments.
- Small or medium-sized EIN firms (in terms of sales, receipts, or
inventories) selected for the current business sample.
- Wholesalers that are defined as Agents and Brokers.
- The month that precedes the data month.
- A 1974 Federal Act that protects the privacy of personal information that
the government has on file. The act places restrictions on the collection,
use, maintenance, and release of information about individuals.
- A selected EIN, which has been previously identified as BMF inactive and
dropped from a current business survey, and is now active based on BMF
records. In most cases, reactivations occur when a firm resumes business
under an EIN, which was previously identified as BMF inactive.
- Subsidiaries, divisions or other operating units of the EIN or company
sampling unit separately identified on the database for purposes of
collecting data from each individual part. If all data for a sampling unit
are obtained from one location, the sampling and reporting unit records are
- A tax collected directly from customers by wholesalers when they make
taxable wholesale sales. Sales taxes could include state, county and local
taxes. Sales taxes exclude excise taxes.
- A group of businesses selected from all possible businesses operating in
the United States that have paid employees. The sample is representative of
the entire population.
- A business or entity that was selected to participate in the survey.
- The reciprocal of the probability of selection of a sampling unit into its
respective sample. The weight indicates the approximate number of firms in
the business universe represented by the selected firms. Reporting units and
tabulation units assume the weight of their sampling units. For example, an
EIN number selected with a weight of 21, represents itself and 20 similar
businesses (in terms of industry and size) in the survey's universe.
- Title 13 is the legal authority for the Census Bureau's programs. The
Census Bureau's authority is founded on the United States constitution and
Title 13. The data collected by the Census Bureau provide for the foundation
on which our democratic system of government is based and are the leading
source of quality data about the nation's economy and people. To fulfill its
mission, the Census Bureau must collect quality data and distribute it in a
way that preserves usefulness while protecting privacy and confidentiality.
- Title 26 Internal Revenue Code provides for the conditions under which the
Internal Revenue Service may disclose Federal Tax Returns and Return
Information (FTI) to other agencies. Specifically, 26, U.S.C. 6103 (j) (1)
provides for the disclosure of FTI to the Census Bureau for statistical
purposes in the structuring of censuses and national economic accounts, as
well as for conducting related statistical activities authorized by law.
Total Operating Expenses
- The sum of detailed types of expenses. It excludes cost of goods sold;
income, sales, and excise taxes; capital expenditures; funds invested; and
interest expense. The detailed expenses are listed below:
All Other Operating Expenses
- Operating expenses not reported elsewhere, such as bank card charges,
motor fuel, and travel expense. Excluded are purchase of products for resale
(cost of goods sold); bad debt; transfers made within the company;
capitalized expenses; interest; impairment; income, sales, and excise taxes;
and other non-operating expenses.
- The gross earnings of all employees paid during the calendar year (cash
basis). It includes all forms of compensation, such as salaries, wages,
commissions, dismissal pay, bonuses, vacation and sick leave pay, and
compensation in kind, prior to such deductions as employees' social security
contributions, withholding taxes, group insurance, union dues, and savings
bonds. The total includes salaries of officers of corporations; it excludes
payments to proprietors or partners of unincorporated concerns. The Census
definition of payroll is identical to that recommended to all Federal
statistical agencies by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, in
particular, the definition used on the Employer's Quarterly Federal Tax
Return, Treasury Form 941. This definition does not include employers'
social security contributions or other nonpayroll labor costs, such as
employees' pension plans, group insurance premiums, and workers'
compensation. Data presented on annual payroll are sample-based and include
payroll of enterprise support locations, such as retail warehouses and
central administrative offices, and thus may not match payroll data compiled
in the 2007 Economic Census.
- Commissions paid to other firms or independent contractors, including
payments by wholesalers to other firms for commissioned sale of merchandise.
This item excludes commissions paid to the firm's own employees (included in
payroll) and commissions paid by wholesale agents and brokers.
Contract Temporary Staff and Leased Employee Expense
- Payments to other firms for the contractual use of their employees. These
employees are supplied by other firms to perform specific jobs, and include
temporary help and leased employees. Day-to-day supervision is provided by
the purchasing firm. For example, contractual costs for security and
janitorial personnel are excluded if supervised by the supplying firms, but
are included in data compiled on other operating expenses.
Data Processing and Other Purchased Computer Services
- Computer facilities management services, computer input preparation, data
storage, computer time rental, optical scanning services, and other
computer-related advice and services, including training.
Depreciation and Amortization Charges
- Depreciation charged against tangible assets owned and used by a firm,
tangible assets and improvements owned by a firm within leaseholds, and
tangible assets obtained through capital lease agreements. This item also
includes amortization charges against intangible assets (i.e., goodwill,
patents, copyrights, etc.). Excluded from this item is accumulated
Employer's Cost for Fringe Benefits
- Expenditures made by the employer for legally required and voluntary
fringe benefit programs for employees. Legally required fringe benefits
includes all programs required under Federal and State legislation such as
FICA, unemployment tax, workers' compensation, and state disability
payments. Voluntary fringe benefits includes programs not specifically
required by Federal or State legislation, such as life and health insurance
premiums for employees; costs incurred under defined contribution plans such
as profit sharing; and costs incurred for both qualified and unqualified
defined pension plans.
Expensed Purchases of Software
- Purchases of prepackaged, custom coded, or vendor customized software
including software developed or customized by others, web design services
and purchases, licensing agreements, upgrades of software; and maintenance
fees related to software upgrades and alterations.
- Expensed computer hardware and other equipment (e.g., copiers, fax
machines, telephones, shop and lab equipment, CPU's, and monitors). Excluded
are expenditures for capitalized equipment; for software expenses; for
leased and rented equipment; and depreciation for capitalized equipment.
Governmental Taxes and License Fees
- Payments to governmental agencies for taxes and licenses, business and
property taxes and excludes income taxes, and sales and excise taxes
collected from customers.
Lease and Rental Payments for Land, Buildings, Structures, Store Space and
- Payments made to other companies for the rental or leasing of land,
buildings, offices and related structures and includes penalties incurred
for broken leases.
Lease and Rental Payments for Machinery, Equipment, and Other tangible items
- Payments made to other companies for the rental or leasing of machinery
and equipment. Costs for the rental and leasing of computer software are
Purchased Advertising and Promotional Services
- Cost of purchases of advertising, marketing and public relations services.
Purchased Communication Services
- Cost of purchased telephone, cellular, and fax services; computer-related
communications (e.g., Internet, connectivity, online); and other wired and
wireless communication services.
- Cost of electricity paid directly to the utility company and excludes the
cost of electricity within lease or rental payments.
Purchased Fuels (Except Motor Fuels)
- Cost of fuels for heating, power, or generation of electricity. It does
not include fuel for motor vehicles. It excludes the cost of fuel within
lease or rental payments.
Purchased Packaging and Containers
- Purchases of containers, wrapping, packing and selling supplies used in
packaging, processing, shipping, and selling of goods.
Purchased Professional and Technical Services
- Management consulting, accounting, auditing, bookkeeping, legal,
actuarial, payroll processing, architectural, engineering, and other
professional services. This excludes salaries paid to a firm's own employees
for these services.
Purchased Repairs and Maintenance to Buildings, Structures, and Offices
- Noncapitalized repairs of and maintenance to buildings, structures,
storefronts, and offices. Extensive repairs or reconstruction that were
capitalized are considered capital expenditures and are, therefore, excluded
from this item. Costs for repair and maintenance provided by an owner as
part of a rental contract or incurred directly by an establishment in using
its own work force are also excluded.
Purchased Repairs and Maintenance to Machinery and Equipment
- Cost of all non-capitalized repairs and maintenance to machinery and
Purchased Transportation, Shipping, and Warehousing Services
- Cost of purchased postage, shipping or delivery services, or warehousing
storage. Also included is the cost of purchased transportation services.
Purchases of Other Materials, Arts, and Supplies (Not for Resale)
- Cost of other supplies, materials and parts purchased for a firm's own
use. This item excludes computer supplies (and packaging supplies purchased
by wholesalers and retailers), and the cost of goods purchased for resale.
Water, Sewer, refuse removal and other utility payments
- Cost of purchased services for water, sewage, trash, and utilities not
included elsewhere. It excludes costs covered within lease and rental
- The broad band of business groupings - retail trade, wholesale trade, and
- The weight indicates the approximate number of firms in the survey's
universe represented by the selected firm. For example, an EIN selected with
a weight of 21.000 represents itself and 20 similar businesses (in terms of
KB and size) in the survey's universe.
- A business that sells to retailers, contractors, or other types of
businesses (including farms), but not to the general public (or at least not
in any significant amount).