Small business statistics

Small business statistics

At the start of 2012:

• There were an estimated 4.8 million businesses in the UK which employed 23.9 million people, and had a combined turnover of £3,100 billion
• SMEs accounted for 99.9 per cent of of all private sector businesses in the UK, 59.1 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover
• SMEs employed 14.1 million people and had a combined turnover of £1,500 billion
• Small businesses alone accounted for 47 per cent of private sector employment and 34.4 per cent of turnover
• Of all businesses, 62.7 per cent (three million) were sole proprieroships, 28 per cent (1.3 million) were companies and 9.3 per cent (448,000) partnerships
• There were 907,000 businesses operating in the contruction sector - nearly a fifth of all businesses
• In the financial and insurance sector, only 25.3 per cent of employment was in SMEs. However, in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector virtually all employment (95.4 per cent) was in SMEs
• Only 25.5 per cent of private sector turnover was in the arts, entertainment and recreation activities, while 90 per cent was in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector
• With 806,000 private sector business, London had more firms than any other region in the UK. The south east had the second largest number of businesses with 768,000. Together these regions account for almost a third of all firms

micro: 0-9 employees, small: 10-50 employees, medium: 50-249 employees
(updated October 2012)

Figures obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Home working figures courtesy of Enterprise Nation.

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