We have a new website go to gov.scot

Businesses in Scotland 2019

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 businesses (also known as enterprises) operating in Scotland. The main purpose of the publication is to provide an estimate of Scotland’s business stock (the number of businesses operating in Scotland).

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 businesses that operate in Scotland regardless of where the business is based.

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

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

Data are also provided on the employment and turnover of businesses. However, please note that there are time lags associated with these employment and turnover data.

The total number of businesses operating in Scotland comprises both those that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE, and those that are not (so called unregistered businesses). Unregistered businesses are sole proprietorships and partnerships that are not large enough to be VAT registered (i.e. have an annual turnover below the VAT threshold - £85,000 as at March 2019) and are not PAYE registered (i.e. do not employ others).

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 a snapshot of the business stock as at March 2019 and were released on 6 November 2019.

The latest 2019 publication tables on the Businesses in Scotland website are consistent for the years 2010 to 2019. 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, high level time series have been constructed for total businesses (registered and unregistered) and registered businesses for the years 2000 to 2019. These long time series have been produced on a consistent basis as far as possible.

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

Constructed Time Series back to 2000:

All businesses (registered and unregistered) 2000 – 2019
Total registered businesses 2000 – 2019

Latest detailed tables on a consistent methodological basis:

All businesses (Tables A to E) 2010 – 2019
Registered businesses by industry (Tables 1 to 16) 2010 – 2019
National Indicators (Tables 17 to 20) 2010 – 2019

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

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

When will the data be updated?

It is our aim to publish Businesses in Scotland 2020 as soon as possible after the release of the Office for National Statistics UK Business Activity publication due for release in autumn 2020.

Businesses in Scotland 2019 - Revisions

Data for 2016 to 2018 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