Pre-“crunch” statistics show record number of startups last year

The latest Government statistics show that the number of VAT-registered enterprises grew by 3% during 2007, reaching over 2 million by the start of 2008.

The statistics, released by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) last week are regarded as the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups and closures. They are an indicator of the level of entrepreneurship and of the health of the business population.

It goes without saying that, as these statistics relate to a time period before the economic downturn kicked in, we could well see a different picture of the health of business start-ups when the next statistics are released.

VAT Registrations – Key Points

  • The stock of VAT-registered enterprises increased by 57,900 (3%) during 2007, to reach 2.03 million at the start of 2008. There has been an increase in the stock of VAT-registered enterprises in every year since 1995, resulting in a 26 percent rise in the number of VAT registered businesses between the start of 1995 and the start of 2008.
  • In 2007, there were 205,700 new registrations – an increase of 13 percent on 2006 levels, and the highest number recorded since the series began in 1941. There were 147,800 de-registrations in 2007 – an increase of two per cent on 2006 levels.
  • All regions and countries, and all but two major industrial sectors (agriculture and manufacturing), saw an increase in the stock of VAT- registered enterprises in 2007. All regions and countries and most industrial sectors saw an increase in the number of VAT registrations compared with 2006, and most regions, countries and industrial sectors saw an increase in the number of de-registrations.
  • There have been increases in the stock of VAT-registered enterprises in every year since 1995, resulting in a 26 percent rise in the number of VAT registered businesses between the start of 1995 and the start of 2008.
  • The number of new registrations increased by 23,700 (13%) between 2006 and 2007 to 205,700, and the number of de-registrations increased by 3,500 (2%) over the same period to 147,800. This is the highest number of new registrations recorded in the period covered by the BERR publication (1994-2007). In 2007, there were 42 new registrations and 30 de-registrations for every 10,000 people aged 16 or over in the UK.
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