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Definition: Business enterprise sector (BES)

Frascati Manual

The Business enterprise sector comprises:

-  All resident corporations, including not only legally incorporated enterprises,
regardless of the residence of their shareholders. This group includes all other
types of quasi-corporations, i.e. units capable of generating a profit or other
financial gain for their owners, recognised by law as separate legal entities
from their owners, and set up for purposes of engaging in market production
at prices that are economically significant.
- The unincorporated branches of non-resident enterprises are deemed to be
resident because they are engaged in production on the economic territory on
a long-term basis.
- All resident non-profit institutions (NPIs) that are market producers of goods
or services or serve business.

This sector comprises both private and public enterprises. (Frascati Manual 2015)

The business enterprise sector includes all firms, organisations and institutions whose primary activity is the market production of goods or services (other than higher education) for sale to the general public at an economically significant price, and the private non-profit institutes mainly serving them.

The core of the sector is made up of private enterprises (corporations or quasi-corporations) whether or not they distribute profit. Among these enterprises may be found some firms for which R&D is the main activity (commercial R&D institutes and laboratories). Any private enterprises producing higher education services should be included in the higher education sector.

In addition, this sector includes public enterprises (public corporations and quasi-corporations owned by government units) mainly engaged in market production and sale of the kind of goods and services which are often produced by private enterprises, although, as a matter of policy, the price set for these may be less than the full cost of production. 

This sector also includes non-profit institutions (NPIs) who are market producers of goods and services other than higher education. (Frascati Manual 2002) Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Frascati Manual 2002: The measurement of scientific and technological activities - Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development", OECD, Paris, 2002
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), "Frascati Manual 2015: The Measurement of Scientific, Technological and Innovation Activities - Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development", Paris, 2015