UK business population hits record 5.5 million

There are one million more small businesses and 4,000 medium-sized businesses than in 2010

The number of private sector businesses in the UK has reached a record high of 5.5 million according to statistics from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

This is a 23% increase on the UK’s business population in 2010, with one million more small businesses, 4,000 new medium-sized businesses and 900 new large companies.

This means small and medium-sized enterprises account for at least 99% of the UK’s new businesses, while the number of businesses headquartered in London has now hit one million – an increase of 41% over the same period.

The number of companies employing UK workers has continued to rise for the third year running, increasing by 1%. This year there were 1.3 million businesses employing and 4.2 million non-employers, meaning the owner was the sole employee of 76% of businesses.

Due to the rise in self-employment, the government has launched a review to see if employment rules need changing, as well as a consultation on the Small Business Commissioner, to look at how the roll will operate and handle calls and complaints.

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chamber of Commerce, commented: “It’s great that the UK remains a fantastic place to start a business, and that we’re seeing more firms making the leap from start-ups to larger firms.

“The challenge now, at a time of transition and change, is to ensure the best possible environment for businesses to invest, recruit and grow.”

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