Record number of new businesses were started in 2015


A record number of start-ups were recorded in the UK in 2015. New figures released by Companies House show that 608,100 new businesses were launched last year, beating the 581,173 started in 2014 and setting a new record for the fourth consecutive year.


The data was analysed by the Centre for Entrepreneurs, who see the figures as evidence that an entrepreneurial spirit has become ingrained within the UK’s business culture.


London saw the greatest number of start-ups, with more than 200,000 new businesses springing up in the capital. Greater Manchester and the West Midlands also performed well and certain areas outdid London when start-ups were calculated on a per capita basis.


Watford and Warrington out-performed both London and Manchester on a per capita basis. There were 24.8 new businesses per 1,000 people in Watford and 24.4 per 1,000 in Warrington.


Seaside towns including Brighton, Poole and Southend-on-Sea also did well, making the top 20 on a per capita basis, while major university towns fared less well. The number of start-ups in Cambridge actually fell, from 15.9 per 1,000 people in 2014 to just nine per 1,000 last year. Oxford had just 6.8 start-ups per 1,000 head of population.


Rural areas tended to see the lowest per capita numbers of start-ups, with the Isle of Anglesey producing just 2.4 new businesses per 1,000 people.


A higher number of start-ups could also lead to a corresponding rise in business deaths however. At the end of 2014 it was being reported that more than half of new businesses failed to survive beyond five years, with issues including the UK tax system, a lack of funding available from the banks and the costs of running a business all being cited as contributory factors. Businesses facing insolvency should make sure to seek out professional advice from insolvency practitioners to see if solutions are available. This should be done as soon as any issues are identified in order to limit the negative impacts that the problems could have on the business.


The most recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics showed that there were 246,000 business deaths in 2014 – representing 9.6% of all businesses that were active that year.


By Phil Smith


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