Starting a business is something more people are doing in the UK than ever before. In the past it was said that the UK was a country of shopkeepers and there is a lot to be said for that impression. However, the type of businesses that people are starting is far more varied and diverse than you would imagine.
Since the year 2000, the number of private sector businesses in the UK has gone up 55% from 3.5 million businesses to 5.4 million, employing 25.9 million people between them. There are many factors that account for this rise in the number of businesses and it is a trend that has remained consistent throughout this century, with the notable exception of 2008 – the year of the big crash.
99.3% of private sector businesses are regarded as small or medium sized firms (companies with between 0 and 249 employees). 5.1 million businesses are micro-businesses (employing between 0 and 9 people), representing 95% of all private sector businesses in the UK.
The number of sole proprietor businesses – businesses that have no employees – has grown 73% since 2000, compared to a growth of 55% for all businesses. This shows a significant shift from people being employed to being self-employed over this period.
Over the last century the nature of British business has also changed massively shifting from a focus on manufacturing to services, with 74% of UK private sector businesses now in the services sector and just 5% in manufacturing.
One trend that is noticeable is the number of businesses that employ people. In 2000 it was around one third of private businesses but this figure has now decreased to around a quarter.
In 2015 only 7,000 private sector businesses in the UK employed more than 250 people, yet these businesses accounted for 40% of all employment and 53% of the total private sector turnover.
Starting a business is something more people are doing than ever before, and more survive than don’t and the most successful business are the ones that focus on the elements that allow them to grow and prosper. For many start-up businesses the challenges of administering the business and dealing with the regulatory and statutory requirement are things they have managed for them.
That is where you can make a big impact on your ability to prosper.
For more information about company formation, company secretarial services, registered office services, insurance, banking and more, contact us to help you get the most out of your business.