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Growing Businesses - Businesses in Scotland

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend

Businesses in Scotland

  • As at March 2019, there were an estimated 356,550 private sector businesses operating in Scotland – the highest point in the current time series (which goes back to 2000).
  • Between March 2018 and March 2019, the estimated number of businesses increased by 2.8% (+9,755 businesses).
  • The increase over the latest year was driven by a rise in the number of unregistered businesses (those not registered for VAT and/or PAYE). The number of unregistered businesses increased from 170,500 as at March 2018 to 177,770 as at March 2019 – an increase of 7,270 unregistered businesses (4.3%).
  • The number of registered businesses (those registered for VAT and/or PAYE) also increased over the latest year - up by 2,485 businesses (1.4%) from 176,295 as at March 2018 to 178,780 as at March 2019 – similarly the highest point in the series. 
  • As at March 2019, there were 354,125 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment and 41.5% of private sector turnover as at March 2019.


Chart 1: Share of enterprises, employment and turnover by size of enterprise, 2019


Source: Businesses in Scotland 2019

Note: Includes unregistered businesses, excludes central and local government. Turnover figures exclude financial services.

Further Information