Announcement

Increase in number of UK businesses at the start of 2010

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

At the beginning of 2010, there were an estimated 4.5 million private sector enterprises in the UK. These 4.5 million businesses employed an…

At the beginning of 2010, there were an estimated 4.5 million private sector enterprises in the UK. These 4.5 million businesses employed an estimated 22.5 million people and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £3,200 billion.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said:

“Private sector enterprises will create growth in our economy so it is encouraging to see that the number of businesses at the start of 2010 had increased. This was a difficult period, and these figures show the resilience of British business.

“I am determined that the Government will do everything it can to create the right environment for these businesses to now expand and grow, and also to encourage more people to set up on their own.”

The publication is a continuation of the series Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Statistics for the UK and Regions but uses a revised methodology to improve the quality of the estimates. The changes have been introduced following a methodology review and the availability of new data.

As a result, the publication - renamed Business Population Estimates - now provides more relevant, timely and accurate estimates of the number of private sector businesses in the UK.

Applying the improved methodology to produce comparable estimates for 2009, there were 4.4 million private sector businesses in the UK at the start of 2009, compared to the 4.8 million previously estimated using the _Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Statistics _methodology.

Other statistics from the new report include:

  • Almost two thirds (64.2 per cent) of private sector businesses were sole proprietorships, 27.6 per cent were companies and 8.2 per cent were partnerships
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) together accounted for 99.9 per cent of all enterprises, 59.1 per cent of private sector employment and 48.6 per cent of private sector turnover.

The full report can be found here: http://stats.bis.gov.uk/ed/bpe/.

Notes to editors:


  1. The Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions 2010 National Statistics were published on the BIS website at 9.30am on Tuesday 24 May

  2. Due to the significant changes to the methodology we cannot compare the 2010 estimate with the previously published 2009 figure from Small and Medium-sized Enterprise Statistics. The estimate for the start of 2009 (which was produced on a consistent basis using the new methodology) enables a robust comparison to be made of the level of change between the start of 2009 and the start of 2010. This shows that the number of businesses increased by 48,000 (1.1 per cent), from 4.4 million to 4.5 million between the start of 2009 and start of 2010.

  3. The new methodology allows BIS to produce estimates of the business population sooner than before. Whilst Business Population Estimates 2010 has been produced on a slightly extended timescale due to additional preparatory methodological work, the expectation is that future publications will be available approximately 10 months after the reference period. Specifically, this year for the first time BIS expect to publish the total number of private sector enterprises within the same year as the reference date, with the number of businesses at the start of 2011 expected to be published in autumn 2011.

  4. BIS’s online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See [http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom](http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom) for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone

Fax

Mobile

Email NDS.BIS@coi.gsi.gov.uk

Name James Platt Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 5978 Fax

Mobile

Email james.platt@bis.gov.uk