The number of private sector businesses in the UK increased to a record high of 4.8m at the start of 2012, official figures reveal.
The figure is a significant rise on the 4.5m businesses in the UK at the start of 2011.The statistics, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, also show:
The 4.8m private sector businesses employed an estimated 23.9m people and had an estimated turnover of £3,100bn. Of the 4.8 million private sector businesses, 99.9% were small and medium sized enterprisesSMEs also account for 59.2% of private sector employment and 48.8% of private sector turnover
The vast majority of the UK’s companies employ no-one with 3,557,255 companies having no staff. Just over a million firms employ up to nine employees, while 177,950 have a workforce of between 10 and 49.
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.”