New figures show that the number of companies in the UK has reached a record high – breaking the four million threshold for the first time. At the end of February 2017 there were 4,005,093 companies and similar businesses registered in the UK – London leading the way with 1,082,600. Scotland is home to 228,631 companies, Wales to 106,636 and Northern Ireland to 55,889.
In England, outside London, the highest concentrations of businesses are in Greater Manchester (171,065), West Midlands (158,305) and Essex (113,225). The statistics come from company formation specialist Inform Direct, using data from Companies House and the Office of National Statistics.
The boom in business numbers is fuelled in large part by the continuing surge in company formations, with a record 664,720 companies started in the UK in 2016.
John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct, said: “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.
“This is all positive news but looking ahead, the outlook remains uncertain. Measures seen to target the small business community – like the National Insurance increases for the self-employed or higher taxes on dividends received by owner managers outlined in the March Budget – will do little to ease fears for the coming years.”