This is an increase on last year’s figures, which showed there were 4.5 million businesses in the UK at the start of 2011.
The statistics, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, also show:
- The 4.8 million private sector businesses employed an estimated 23.9 million people and had an estimated turnover of £3,100 billion
- Of the 4.8 million private sector businesses, 99.9 per cent of them were small and medium sized enterprises.
- SMEs also account for 59.2 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover.
Business Minister Michael Fallon said:
“Today’s figures show that we now have a record number of private sector businesses in the UK. We have always said that private sector is central to healing and rebalancing our economy and this increase is another encouraging sign.
“We know that our entrepreneurs drive growth, so we will continue to do everything we can to help unleash and unlock entrepreneurs’ potential. The additional tax relief for angel investment, reforms to employment law, investment in business mentoring and further cuts in red tape are just some of the actions government is taking to create a better business environment.”
Notes to editors:
1. The statistics are available on the BIS website here http://www.bis.gov.uk/analysis/statistics/business-population-estimates
2. The Government's economic policy objective is to achieve 'strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries.' It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
· To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
· To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
· To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
· To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
Work is underway across Government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the Government wants the economy to travel.
3. BIS's online newsroom contains the latest press notices and speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See http://www.bis.gov.uk/newsroom for more information.