Participating in Statistics Netherlands (CBS) surveys

Published by:
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

Did you as an entrepreneur receive a questionnaire from Statistics Netherlands (CBS)? For most of these surveys participation in this survey (completing the questionnaire) is mandatory. Whether a questionnaire is compulsory is clearly indicated in the letter you receive. CBS collects and publishes statistical information related to the economy.

Why does CBS ask for your business data?

Your company’s data are needed to gain insight in and illustrate economic growth, price developments, turnover data, investments, and employment. Wherever possible CBS uses data available from other government organisations such as for instance the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Often this is sufficient, but not always. In that case, CBS may ask businesses to fill in a questionnaire. For this, businesses will be selected randomly.

Participation is mandatory

Participation in such a survey is mandatory, as per the law on Statistics Netherlands. If you do not complete the questionnaire within the requested time, you may be fined.

What to expect

The information that Statistics Netherlands asks you for may include:

  • the legal structure of your company
  • the number and size of your establishments
  • your economic activities
  • your costs, such as purchase costs, wages, social charges, and taxes
  • your inventory
  • sick leaves and sick reports
  • production, collection, and processing of waste

How to supply the data

If you need to participate in the survey CBS will send you a letter. In the letter you will find your username and password. You fill in the questionnaire via a secure website. Sending your data via this website is also secure.

Did you lose your login details? You can apply for new login details with CBS.

Importing financial data into the questionnaire

Do you work in accountancy, tax consultancy and administration, retail, wholesale, construction, or hospitality? If so, you can import your financial data directly into the Annual Statistics questionnaire (in Dutch). Your financial records must then be linked to the Reference General Ledger System (RGS, in Dutch). You can arrange this link through your accounting software (in Dutch).

Confidentiality of data

Statistics Netherlands must facilitate the participation in the survey and is only entitled to use the collected data for making statistics. Your data will not be shared with others and will be made unrecognisable in CBS' results, reports, and articles.

Where can I find the CBS statistics?

CBS publishes reports and news items on entrepreneurial data. For instance the State of SMEs Annual Report (scroll down for English-laguage pdf), and the quarterly COEN Business Survey Netherlands which presents the mood among Dutch entrepreneurs. This may help you in your own market orientation and research.

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