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Number of UK companies passes four million for first time

Tuesday 14th March, 2017
Limited Company
The UK's entrepreneurial streak continues to thrive, with new figures showing that the number of limited companies and other businesses has reached a new record high of more than four million.

Data gathered by Inform Direct and reported by smallbusiness.co.uk shows that there were 4,005,093 established companies in Britain as of the end of February this year - 1,082,600 of these were based in London.

Inform Direct used figures from the Office of National Statistics and Companies House to work out this total, which indicates that budding entrepreneurs are still feeling inspired to set up their own businesses and work for themselves despite the loom of Brexit.

In fact, 664,720 new companies were established in the UK in 2016 alone, with the desire for a better work-life balance and greater workload control among the main driving factors behind this.

Outside of London, the highest number of companies are based in Greater Manchester (171,065), followed by the West Midlands (158,305) and Essex (113,225).

In terms of region, Scotland was found to be home to the highest proportion of companies, with entrepreneurs setting up 228,631 businesses in the country in total. Meanwhile, 106,636 can be found in Wales and 55,889 in Northern Ireland.

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, commented: "These figures underline the positive entrepreneurial culture in the UK, with small business continuing to drive economic growth.

"So far, at least, we're not seeing evidence that the Brexit vote has dented confidence among those considering starting up in business."

He added that the outlook remains slightly uncertain as the government is only just beginning the process of triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to kickstart the official Brexit process.

However, companies with strong foundations and that are accessing help and advice from available resources should be in a good position to navigate the first few uncertain months of the post-Brexit era.

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