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Businesses in Scotland 2018

All content within this web-section is available as a single PDF document and all the latest tables are available to download in excel:

Please note that the ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication was previously entitled Scottish Corporate Sector Statistics.

Further Information

What do these statistics cover?

The ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication provides information on the number of enterprises (businesses) operating in Scotland.  The main purpose of the publication is to provide an estimate of Scotland’s business stock.

Within the publication the Scottish business stock is broken down by various dimensions including industry, business size, local authority area, urban/rural area and country of ownership. The publication includes all enterprises that operate in Scotland regardless of where the business is based.

The focus of the publication is on private sector enterprises, where the private sector is defined as including the following enterprise types:

  • Companies (including Building Societies)
  • Sole Proprietors
  • Partnerships
  • Public Corporations/Nationalised Bodies
  • Non-profit making bodies and mutual associations

Data is also provided on enterprises' employment and turnover. However, please note that there are time lags associated with the employment and turnover variables.

What are the statistics used for?

Statistics from the ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication are used to provide insight into the characteristics of Scotland’s business stock, and how Scotland’s business stock has changed over time.  The data are used to inform decision making and performance monitoring – both inside and outside government.  More information on uses can be found in the on-line Businesses in Scotland Data Sources, Suitability and Uses Note.

What year do tables relate to?

The latest figures relate to March 2018 and were released on 7 November 2018. 

The latest 2018 publication tables on the Businesses in Scotland website are consistent for the years 2010 to 2018.  All industry sector data are based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007.

Older tables, available in the Tables Archive, have not been updated to reflect the current methodology and are therefore not consistent with the latest tables. However, a high level time series for total (registered and unregistered) enterprises and registered enterprises has been constructed for 2000 to 2018.  This long time series has been produced on a consistent basis as far as possible.

The following data is available on the ‘Businesses in Scotland’ website:

Constructed Time Series back to 2000:

All enterprises (registered and unregistered) 2000 – 2018
Total registered enterprises 2000 – 2018

Latest detailed tables on a consistent methodological basis:

All enterprises (Tables A to E) 2010 – 2018
Registered enterprises (Tables 1 to 20) 2010 – 2018

Archived Tables (on old methodology and SIC 2003 basis):

All enterprises (Tables A to E) 2000 – 2010
Registered enterprises by industry (Tables 1 to 8) 2000 – 2010

What’s new?

Tables 17 to 20 are new and provide data for two National Performance Framework National Indicators – on the number of businesses and high growth businesses.

We have also improved the methodology for estimating the number of unregistered businesses (those businesses not registered for VAT and/or PAYE), this has led to revisions back to 2010. 

When will the figures be updated?

It is our aim to publish Businesses in Scotland 2019 as soon as possible after the release of the Office for National Statistics UK Business Activity publication due for release in Autumn 2019.

Businesses in Scotland Revision - 2010-2017

Data for 2010 to 2017 has been revised - more information on revisions is provided in Section 15 of the Methodology Notes.  Revision Tables are available to download in excel:

Revisions Tables