2022 was another record year for company registrations in the UK, according to an analysis by small business support platform Enterprise Nation.
According to data published this month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2022 784,762 businesses were registered at Companies House. That’s almost 30,000 more than in 2021, and 114,000 more recorded annually pre-pandemic. In 2019, 670,575 businesses were registered.
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, the company said.
Emma Jones, CBE, founder of membership organisation Enterprise Nation, 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.
“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.”
A survey Enterprise Nation commissioned earlier this year showed around a third of UK adults were considering starting a business in 2023.
Ten years ago, in 2013, 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.
Emma added: “Start-ups really are the bright spot in the business world right now. Without an adequate supply of fresh innovation and talent, we will never be able to build the future we want to see.
“These businesses are starting out with sustainable principles at their core. They are naturally energy-saving, they are purpose-driven and they are tech-enabled. Evidence points to the fact that firms that start-up in a downturn have resilience built in.
“But they need access to support. Most people starting-up are brilliant at what they do – but they might not be great at actually running a business.”
Enterprise Nation runs free business support programmes in collaboration with partners including StartUp UK – a free support and e-learning initiative we run with Monzo or business.connected – free digital support in collaboration with Vodafone, Sage and Builder.ai.
To become a free member of Enterprise Nation, use this link https://www.enterprisenation.com/sign-up/