Company registration rise signals start-up boom

Business planning graphic

Last year was another record one for company registrations in the UK, according to an analysis by a leading small business support platform.

ONS data published this month revealed that in 2022 a total of 784,762 businesses were registered at Companies House – almost 30,000 more than in 2021 and 114,000 more recorded annually pre-pandemic.

And while many will point to the rise of so-called zombie companies and the high level of dissolutions, the relentless upwards trend in these figures is an indicator of the UK’s growing entrepreneurial aspiration, according to Enterprise Nation

Founder Emma Jones, said: “Amidst the doom and gloom and straitened times we find ourselves in, the British enthusiasm for entrepreneurship continues to grow.

“We know that these figures are not a perfect reflection of the UK’s start-up community, but they do tally with our own research and new membership data so far this year.

“For example, we’ve already seen a dramatic increase in new members – up 78 per cent on this time last year.

Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation

Jones: we have already seen a dramatic increase

“Despite being constantly bombarded with an unrelentingly bleak economic outlook and the news that many businesses are struggling with energy bills, skills and labour shortages and an increasing tax burden – people still have not been deterred from starting a business. In fact, the opposite is true.”

Their survey showed around a third of UK adults were considering starting a business in 2023. Ten years ago,  the UK hit the milestone of 500,000 registrations for the first time, and by the end of this year it is expected to hit 800,000, an increase of 60 per cent.

There are currently 5.5 m businesses in the UK. Around 96 per cent of these are start-ups, early-stage micro firms and sole traders.

Slightly more sobering is the news that the UK has slipped to number 25 out of 51 countries on the quality of entrepreneurship ecosystem economies. This was according to the new Global Entrepreneurship Monitor National Entrepreneurship Context Index.

The ranking, represents a fall from 18th last year, with the index score decreasing from 4.9 (in 2021) to 4.7. The UK’s NECI score is below that of other comparable economies such as the USA (5.2), France (5.1), and Germany (5.1).

GEM defines the entrepreneurial context of a particular economy in terms of 13 different characteristics and assessed by a panel of at least 36 experts.

In the period 2021 to 2022, nine such scores worsened, led by Physical Infrastructure and Ease of Entry: Burdens and Regulation, both directly related to the post-Brexit, post-pandemic turmoil.


Enterprise Nation