Definition: Identity number
LEGAL UNITS - The identity number of the legal unit can either be specific to the statistical business register, or an external one, common or shared with other institutions in the Member State, so called unique identifier. The latter is generally preferred.
LOCAL UNITS - It is recommended to use a register-specific identity number for local units. The identity number of a local unit should remain the same while the unit is considered as continuous according to the continuity rules, as defined in Chapter 16 (even in the case that the enterprise to which it belongs may change). External (shared) identity numbers may exist for local units, but as these may change during the existence of the unit, it is recommended to treat external identity numbers as variables, keeping track of their changes.
ENTERPRISES - As the continuity rules for enterprises should be applied, the identity number should remain the same from while the enterprise is considered as continuous.
ENTERPRISE GROUPS (ALL-RESIDENT/TRUNCATED GROUP) - The identity number refers to the all-resident part of the group and should be different from the identity number of the global group (below), even if the group is domestically controlled. The number is given nationally in the business register or it may be common with other institutions. The identity number of truncated group is given centrally in the EuroGroups register procedure. As the continuity rules for enterprise groups should be applied, the identity number should remain the same while group is considered as continuous. For all-resident groups the general enterprise group continuity rules apply and different methods can be used, e.g. profiling for large groups and automated procedures based on administrative information for small groups. The continuity of the truncated group is based on the continuity of the global group.
Because there may be, in the national territory, several seemingly unlinked truncated groups, which in fact belong to the same multinational group. In such case these separate groups generally have same type of NACE activities and it can be advisable to define them as separate enterprises. A truncated group can also consist of only one unit of the group, parent or subsidiary, in the national territory and such cases may be difficult to identify nationally.
As the continuity of the group may remain while the group head changes, the identity number of the group should not be the same as the identity number of the all-resident group head.
ENTERPRISE GROUPS (GLOBAL GROUP)) - The identity number refers to the whole group and must be unique. The identity number shall be given in the EuroGroups register to ensure a unique format. The continuity of the global groups is co-ordinated in Europe by Eurostat. The continuity is decided jointly by Eurostat and the country of decision-centre of the group (4.16), when this country is in the EU or in a participating EFTA country. When deciding on the continuity, the information in the commercial sources (which may not respect continuity rules), as well as consistency with other available sources (e.g. the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard) will be taken into account. The identity number will be distributed to all Member States, where the enterprise group operates.
As the continuity of the group may remain while the group head changes, the identity number of the group should not be the same as the identity number of the global group head.
Eurostat, "Business registers. Recommendations manual", Methodologies and Working Papers, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2010