Where is the best place in London to start a business?

From West London to Tech City, Startups brings you its updated guide for entrepreneurs looking to start a business in the capital…

Following our successful index on the UK’s best start-up cities outside of London, we come to London. With its reputation as one of the world’s leading enterprise capitals, it warrants its very own index.

Home to over 400,000 micro-businesses and start-ups (NOMIS 2015), the capital is a desirable start-up location for many new businesses. But while plenty of start-ups will have heard of the term Tech City given its disproportionate coverage, it’s not all about the Shoreditch hub which is why we’ve researched exhaustively to give you a comprehensive overview.


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Split into seven sub-regions; City of London, Central London, South London, West London, East London, North London and Tech City, we’ve researched and analysed each area to give you an accurate picture of the start-up support and activity on offer across London.

Unlike the Start-up Cities Index 2015, in our London index we’ve chosen not to rank the sub-regions. Each area has a wide range of business support and start-up activity which makes it difficult to judge in terms of ranking the “best”locations. However, we have identified the London areas that are better targeted to new businesses in a certain industry; for instance financial technology start-ups are recommended to locate in the City of London while creative start-ups have the potential to thrive in Central and West London. You can view our methodology here.

To give a better understanding of what London has to offer start-ups, we’ve also gathered relevant statistics from each of the 32 (plus the City of London) boroughs to see how each borough compares in its support for small businesses. View the table here.

Incorporating data from the Office of National Statistics, NOMIS, Land Registry, Metropolitan Police and a range of other esteemed research sources, we’ve pulled together information on the key areas of starting a business in London from sourcing talent to finding office premises, the cost of living and even the best restaurants for a client meeting.

In researching London’s diverse start-up scene, we’ve identified some interesting facts and figures about the capital’s enterprise activity. This includes statistics which show:

  • The boroughs of Westminster, Lambeth and Camden have the highest start-up rates
  • Start-ups launched in Richmond, Sutton, and Bexley are MOST likely to survive
  • Start-ups launched in Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Westminster are LEAST likely to survive
  • Westminster and Camden have the largest number of micro-businesses AND small businesses
  • Lambeth has the highest percentage of micro-businesses of all the London boroughs

In the index you’ll also find information about a cross-section of industries and businesses in London. While London has a reputation as a frontrunner for tech with talks of London being the world’s most attractive destination for fintech, we’ve looked further than just the finance sector. From the best places to start a creative business to sub-regions for manufacturing and engineering businesses, we’ve got it covered.

What’s more, we’ve included information on networking events, business libraries, support resources, average house prices and local and cultural attractions in order to give a full 360 view of the area.

So, whether you’re looking to start a business in London or planning to relocate your business to London, this guide will help give you an idea as to where you should start up in the capital.

Click on the interactive map above or click on the buttons below to find out how each London area compares…

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