Company registrations drop 30k in 2017

Political uncertainty and Brexit have had a negative impact on UK company formations and business growth, with fewer new companies being established during 2017 and the overall growth rate in the number of UK businesses falling, according to analysis by software supplier Inform Direct

Using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics, the company found the number of UK company formations in 2017 dropped to 634,116, compared with 664,720 in 2016. The number of companies dissolved rose to 483,800, compared to 468,435 the previous year.

As a result the UK’s business growth rate fell from 5.4% to 4%.  It was a mixed picture across the UK, with some counties seeing record highs in terms of new businesses being established and Wales (9.8%), Northern Ireland (6.6%) and Scotland (5.7%) exceeding the 3.9% growth rate for England.

Of the 569,585 formations in England, 205,527 were in London, while 34,002 companies were formed in Scotland, 17,408 in Wales and 7,398 in Northern Ireland.

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct said: ‘Whilst we saw a fall in the number of new companies being established during 2017 and a rise in dissolutions, overall the number of registered companies in the UK continued to grow, passing the 4,000,000 milestone and finishing the year with a total of 4,120,349.

‘This slowdown in growth could be attributed, at least in part, to ongoing political uncertainty and concern in the business community over the impact of Brexit.’

The Inform Direct Review of UK Company Formations is here.

Report by Pat Sweet

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