Enigma defines a “business” as an operating entity with a recognizable brand name and at least one physical location or identifiable website/digital sales channel. All business profiles in the product have an Enigma ID that starts with the letter “B”.

Examples of brand names are Tacombi, Torchy’s Tacos, Arthur Bryant's Barbecue, Home Depot, etc.

Some entities have common names e.g., Main Street Cafe. When entities share a name, Enigma determines if there is a link between those entities based on indicators like sharing a physical location, sharing a website, or being linked in corporate registration filings. If Enigma finds a link, those entities are grouped together as the same business. If no link is found between a Main Street Cafe in Cheshire, CT, and a Main Street Cafe in Hurricane, UT then these will be represented as two distinct businesses.

There are several situations where it could be unclear if two entities should be treated as the same business or not. Below is a description of how Enigma handles each situation.

Licensing & franchising

When an entity has both company-owned and franchised stores operating under the same brand name (e.g., McDonald’s), Enigma defines these entities as all belonging to the same business. In the future, Enigma will likely introduce a legal entity structure to distinguish between these two.

When an entity has a license to operate or sell another company’s products or services, but under a different brand name (e.g., Whitaker Hardware, a licensed retail location of Ace Hardware), Enigma treats these as distinct businesses because of the distinct brand name.

Families of brands (distinct sales channels):

In the real world there are also many examples of families of brands, or corporate hierarchies where there are many distinct brand names operating under the same parent brand. An example: KFC and Pizza Hut are distinct brands owned by a current parent, Yum! Brands. In these situations, Enigma creates a business profile for the most granular, distinct, brand with its own selling locations (online & offline) in our underlying data sources.

In the case of Yum! Brands, Enigma creates a distinct business profile each for KFC, Pizza Hut and Yum! Brands since each has their own sales channels (stores, websites, etc.).

When a family of brands has a combined sales channel for multiple sub-brands (such as a shared store or website), we treat them as the same business. An example of this would be Marriott International, which owns many hotel brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, and Sheraton. A booking at any of these sub brands takes place through the shared website. When revenue information for several co-owned brands is inextricably linked and indistinguishable (e.g., through bookings on the website), these brands are grouped together as a business.

Non-profit/non-corporate entities:

A business is not restricted to real-world operating companies that are for-profit, commercial enterprises. Enigma’s products contain business profiles that are schools, non-profits, and religious groups, as long as these adhere to the rule of having a single name and at least one identifiable website/digital sales location or physical location. This is because these organizations may sell products, services, and memberships that consumers are able to purchase (so they exist in card revenue datasets), and/or can take out loans to grow their organizations - just as a commercial, for-profit company would.

Revenue attribution for sales channels:

There are many instances where the product of one brand (e.g., Colgate-Palmolive toothpaste) is sold by another brand (e.g., Wal-Mart). Enigma will usually attribute revenue to wherever the end-consumer swiped their credit card - e.g., in the example above, a consumer card swipe for Colgate toothpaste at Wal-Mart would show up as Wal-Mart revenue.

Another case is small business platforms. An example is Etsy acting as a sales platform for a small business craftsperson operating a storefront on Etsy. Both Etsy and the small business have distinct business profiles in Enigma, and both Etsy and the small business are technically interacting with the consumer. In these cases, Enigma attempts to attribute the revenue to the small business storefront since it is the most granular brand the consumer is interacting with.

That said, Enigma can only confidently resolve revenue based on the transaction description that appears on a credit card statement and sometimes may only be able to attribute the revenue to the platform.

Website hosts and business platforms

Some websites, e.g.,, are all platform businesses in and of themselves AND play host to many additional small businesses. Small businesses may list their specific page on the platform, e.g., but may also often simply list the top-level domain, e.g. To prevent incorrect firmographics and incomplete revenue, we block some top-level domains representing business platforms from being created and only allow for pages or subdomains to be created. If you are interested in platform revenue in particular, please get in touch with us directly.