UK Business: Activity, size and location: 2013

Business enterprises analysed by legal form, industry, region and employment size band.

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This is an accredited national statistic.

Contact:
Email Karen Watkins

Release date:
3 October 2013

Next release:
29 October 2014

1. Headline figures

  • The number of VAT and/or PAYE businesses is estimated to have risen by 18,000 (0.9%) between March 2012 and March 2013

  • Companies and public corporations represent 64% of total businesses

  • The largest industry group is professional, scientific and technical with 16.9% of all registered businesses

  • London has the largest number of VAT and/or PAYE based businesses, with 17.2% of the UK total

  • The number of businesses rose over the last couple of years, following a decline since 2008

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2. Summary

There were 2.17 million enterprises registered for VAT and/or PAYE in March 2013, compared with 2.15 million in March 2012, a rise of around 18,000 (0.9%).

Figure 1: Number of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises, 2008-2013

Figure 1: Number of VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises, 2008-2013

Source: Office for National Statistics
Notes:
  1. Approximately 31,000 of the change between 2011 and 2012 was caused by improvements to HMRC computer systems leading to previously excluded businesses being added to the IDBR
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4. Business counts by broad industry

In 2013 the professional, scientific and technical sector accounted for the largest number of businesses, with 16.9% of all enterprises registered, overtaking wholesale, retail and repair of motor vehicles, with 16.5% of all enterprises registered. The third largest sector was construction; however, this fell from 12.3% in 2012 to 11.9% in 2013.

The professional, scientific and technical sector had the largest growth between 2012 and 2013, an increase of 14,000 businesses. This was followed by the information and communication sector which increased by 7,000 businesses in 2013. Construction had the largest fall in businesses with a fall of 6,000.

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5. Business counts by UK region

London accounted for the largest number of businesses in March 2013, with 17.2% of the UK total. The region with the next largest share of businesses was the South East, at 15.7%.

Between 2012 and 2013 all regions except Northern Ireland and Wales saw an increase in the number of businesses with London and the South East experiencing the greatest increase of nearly 13,000 and 2,000 businesses respectively. London grew by 3.5% between 2012 and 2013 and this accounts for around two thirds of the growth in the UK. The number of businesses in Northern Ireland and Wales fell by 800 and 900 businesses respectively.

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6. Local unit site information

Local units are sites that belong to an enterprise. In March 2013 there were 2.63 million local units belonging to VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises, compared with 2.61 million in March 2012 a rise of nearly 15,000 (0.6%). Out of the 2.17 million VAT and/or PAYE enterprises, only 58,000 (2.7%) operate from more than one site. These operated a total 516,000 local units.

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7 .Background notes

  1. UK Business: Activity, Size and Location is produced from an extract taken from the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) recording the position of units as at March of the reference year. Introduced in 1994, the IDBR provides the basis for the Office for National Statistics to conduct surveys of businesses

  2. To support this release a set of reference tables in greater geographical and industrial detail have been produced and are available

  3. Estimates presented in this release and the associated published tables are rounded to prevent disclosure. Differences may exist in totals across tables due to disclosure methods used

  4. Although the statistics in this release are derived from the IDBR, the total count of live businesses is less than the Business Demography publication. This is mainly because the definition used in Business Demography of an active business is based on activity at any time in the year, whereas UK Business: Activity, Size and Location is based on an annual snapshot at a point in time

  5. Approximately 31,000 of the change between 2011 and 2012 was caused by improvements to HMRC computer systems leading to previously excluded businesses being added to the IDBR. These businesses were registered before 2012, so distort the year on year change

  6. Approximately 10,620 Composite and Managed Services Companies have been excluded where the address does not represent the location of the activities of these businesses to avoid giving a false impression of growth in these locations. Identification of Composite and Managed Services Companies may be incomplete, inflating business counts primarily in the Professional, Scientific and Technical sector. Further details on Composite and Managed Services Companies can be found on the HM Revenue and Customs website: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/employment-status/msc.htm

  7. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference

  8. Follow ONS on Twitter (@statisticsons) and Facebook (statisticsons).

  9. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: media.relations@ons.gsi.gov.uk

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8 . Methodology

Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Karen Watkins
karen.watkins@ons.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)1633 456902