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Growing Businesses - Business Registrations

High Level Summary of Statistics Trend Last update: December 2018

Business Registrations

New business formation is one of the key drivers of economic growth. A high business birth rate drives up levels of innovation, competitiveness and productivity, as firms are replaced by more competitive enterprises in the important process of business churn. VAT/PAYE registrations are the most reliable official indicator of business start-ups but exclude the very smallest businesses.

In 2017, Scotland had 48 new business registrations per 10,000 of the adult population in comparison to the UK figure of 71.  Excluding London, the UK figure would be 62 per 10,000 resident adults.

Business Start up - UK regions

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Source: Office for National Statistics

Between 2004 and 2017, the Scottish registration rate per 10,000 adults has varied between 34 and 50 per 10,000 resident adults. The figures showed a substantial increase between 2012 and 2013.

Business Start up - Scottish time series

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Source: Office for National Statistics

Note: The source for measuring business registrations changed in 2009 from the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform VAT-only series to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) VAT/PAYE series. The information above is based on the new ONS VAT/PAYE series. Note that the increase between 2006 and 2007 was, in part, a reflection of a change in business behaviour in response to a change in tax legislation in 2007 and therefore was not sustained in 2008.

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