The number of businesses
Latest update: 23 November 2022
The total number of private sector businesses (registered for Value Added Tax and/or Pay As You Earn) in Scotland per 10,000 adults. Find out more about this indicator.
The 2022 registered business stock rate of 383 businesses per 10,000 adults represents a decrease from the 2021 rate of 388 businesses per 10,000 adults.
The total number of registered businesses reduced between 2021 and 2022. This was driven by falls in the ‘Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities’ and ‘Information & Communication’ industry sectors. These decreases may have been influenced by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with businesses reluctant to take on consultancy work in uncertain times. The introduction of the contractors “off payroll – working rules” changes (IR35) introduced by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) may have also been a factor.
Breakdowns for this indicator show:
The number of private sector registered businesses (those registered for VAT and/or PAYE) decreased over the latest year - from 177,115 businesses as at March 2021 to 175,175 as at March 2022 – a fall of 1,940 businesses (-1.1%).
Between March 2021 and March 2022, the registered business stock decreased in the majority of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. Over the latest year, the registered business stock declined the most in the City of Edinburgh (-520 businesses), Aberdeen City (-460 businesses) and Fife (-440 businesses). Whereas, the registered business stock in Glasgow City increased by 0.5% (+100 businesses) over the latest year.
As at March 2022, registered private sector businesses with their ultimate base outside Scotland (RUK based or Abroad-owned) represented 3.3% of businesses, accounting for 35.6% of employment and 55.1% of turnover.Between March 2021 and March 2022, the number of Abroad-owned businesses in Scotland increased from 3,090 to 3,155. Whereas the number of RUK based businesses and Scotland based businesses decreased.
As at March 2022, the largest industry sector was ‘Professional, Scientific & Technical Activities’ (26,480 businesses).
Between March 2021 and March 2022, the number of registered businesses in the ‘Utilities’ industry sector increased by 6.7% (+50 businesses) – the sector with the highest relative growth over the latest year. In contrast, the number of registered businesses in the ‘Information & Communication’ industry sector decreased by 13.8% (-1,320 businesses) - the sector with the lowest relative growth over the latest year.
The number of small registered businesses (0 to 49 employees) decreased from 170,890 businesses as at March 2021 to 169,000 as at March 2022 – a fall of 1,890 businesses (-1.1%).
The number of medium-sized businesses (50 to 249 employees) decreased from 3,845 businesses as at March 2021 to 3,835 as at March 2022 – a fall of 10 businesses (-0.3%).The number of large businesses (250 or more employees) decreased from 2,375 businesses as at March 2021 to 2,340 as at March 2022 – a fall of 35 businesses (-1.5%).
This indicator can be broken down by employee sizeband, industry sector, local authority and region of ownership. These breakdowns can be viewed on the Equality Evidence Finder.