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Growing Businesses - Businesses in Scotland

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend

Businesses in Scotland

  • As at March 2018, there were an estimated 345,915 private sector businesses operating in Scotland – representing a decrease of 8,830 businesses (-2.5%) since March 2017.

  • The decrease over the latest year was driven by a fall in the number of unregistered businesses (those not registered for VAT and/or PAYE). The number of unregistered businesses decreased from 178,340 in 2017 to 169,620 in 2018 – a decrease of 8,720 unregistered businesses (-4.9%).

  • The number of VAT/PAYE registered businesses has decreased over the latest year also - down by 105 businesses (-0.1%) from 174,600 in 2017 to 176,295 in 2018 – this is the first fall in the registered business stock since 2011.

  • Overall, the number of employers has increased by 915 (0.9%) from 107,465 employers in 2017 to 108,380 employers in 2018 – there are now more private sector employers operating in Scotland than at any other time in the series (back to 2000).

  • As at March 2018, there were 343,535 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 in 2018, accounting for 54.9% of private sector employment and 41.5% of private sector turnover.

Share of enterprises, employment and turnover by size of enterprise, 2018

Source: Businesses in Scotland 2018

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

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