How Many Businesses in The UK

There are 5 million small businesses in the UK.

These 5 million businesses employed an estimated 23 million people and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £3,500 billion.

Statistics from the Department for Business in 2011

  • SMEs account for 99 per cent of of all enterprise int he UK, 58.8 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover
  • SMEs employed an estimated 13.8 million people and had an estimated combined annual turnover of £1,500 billion
  • Businesses with employees account for a quarter of all enterprises – a fall of 29,000 since 2010
  • There are 876,000 businesses in construction – a fifth of all UK enterprises
  • London has 748,000 enterprises – more than any other region
  • The South East has the second largest number of enterprises with 745,000. Combined with London, a third of all businesses are based here
  • 45.3 per cent of businesses are registered for VAT and/or PAYE
  • The number of sole proprietorships increased by 87,000 in 2010 and the number of companies, 6,000

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.

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