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Kauffman Firm Survey

The Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) is a panel study of 4,928 businesses founded in 2004 and tracked over their early years of operation, through 2011. KFS focuses on the nature of new business formation activity; characteristics of the strategy, offerings, and employment patterns of new businesses; the nature of the financial and organizational arrangements of these businesses; and the characteristics of their founders.

Public-Use Data Files

This page allows for the download of the public-use microdata file for the Kauffman Firm Survey, which contains data from the baseline (2004) through seventh follow-up (2011) surveys. The dataset can be downloaded in SASSPSS, or STATA (click to download).

Public-use KFS Survey Data

*Note: SAS users need to remove the dashes before the filename before opening it. Apologies for the inconvenience.

In our effort to make it easier for researchers to use the KFS public data more efficiently, we have also produced the public data files (both in wide and long format) based on the KFS logically imputed data. The data are available in Stata format only. Logically imputed KFS public data [ZIP] >

More detailed forms of the KFS data are also available to qualified researchers but require additional procedures to obtain access:

NORC Data Enclave

Researchers wishing to access a more detailed data file and to engage with a community of researchers in analysis of the KFS should consider applying for access to the NORC Data Enclave. The Data Enclave, a service of NORC at the University of Chicago, provides secure, remote access to the KFS confidential microdata file.

KFS Confidential Microdata File

The KFS confidential microdata file includes more detailed industry codes, geographical codes (zip code, metropolitan statistical area, and state), and many additional continuous variables (in addition to categorical variables). As of September 2020, KFS access uses a fee-based model, with an annual fee of $3000.

Requesting Access

To apply for a KFS data set seat, please send a 3-5 page project proposal that outlines your research project and the need for the confidential data (as opposed to the public-use version available for download on our website), as well as your CV, to Proposals are due on the 28th of each month.

Financial Assistance

If you are in financial need and cannot afford the annual fee, you are welcome to submit a Kauffman-NORC Sponsorship program application. Please send a completed form to KFSHelp:

This is a temporary sponsorship program.  

See the list of current researchers using the KFS in the NORC Data Enclave.