Number of UK start-ups rising but many won’t survive beyond two years

Experian is offering 99 credit reports for £99 to help small businesses tackle potential pitfalls and make it to their second birthday…

The UK’s start-up population is increasing at record levels, but many struggle to survive beyond two years – research from Experian has found.

Approximately 50,000 businesses are launching each month with 587,000 created in the last year; over 70,000 more than in 2013 and quadruple that of 20 years ago (130,000).

While start-up numbers are increasing, small businesses in the UK are having to “negotiate a series of potential pitfalls” to make it to their second birthday with late payments one of the main obstacles to start-up growth.

Micro-businesses (one or two employees) were found to be the fastest at settling invoices across April 2014 to March 2015, yet sole traders and partners took over 20 days beyond terms to pay outstanding invoices and businesses with six to 10 employees took over 21 days beyond terms.

The report also urged caution to small businesses working with larger companies as businesses with 501 or more staff took around 34 days beyond terms to pay overdue invoices.

In light of these findings, Experian has announced that it is offering small businesses launched in the last two years the opportunity to access 99 credit reports for £99 to help “make smarter credit decisions”.

Businesses which take up the offer will also receive £20 marketing credit.

Ade Potts, Experian SME business managing director, commented: “It’s never been easier to set up your own business, using just a laptop, mobile phone and home office in many cases. But equally, it’s never been harder to be a small business, facing down the risks posed by suppliers settling invoices late and customers falling into insolvency.

“Checking the credit reports of the customers and suppliers your business comes in to contact with is not a big financial outlay and it could help your business survive beyond the two-year mark.”

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