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UK business statistics and facts 2023

This page includes relevant UK business statistics, such as growth and borrowing across various sectors, the impact of the cost of living crisis, and how the UK business landscape compares to previous years.

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It’s been a difficult time for those running a business over the past 15 years, with the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the cost of living crisis affecting the stability of businesses across many industries.

Despite this, the latest UK business statistics found that, in 2023, there were around 5.6 million businesses registered in the UK – with 99.9% of these classified as small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Delve deeper into the business landscape and explore the UK business market further with our comprehensive business stats and facts for 2024.

Top 10 UK business statistics 2024

  • As of October 2023, there are around 5.6 million private sector businesses (up 0.8%, or 54,000, from the previous year).

  • Total SME employment in 2023 was 16.7 million (around 61% of all private sector jobs).

  • The 7,960 large firms (250+ employees) in the UK accounted for just under half (47%) of the overall earnings.

  • More than half (56%) of the businesses in the UK are sole proprietorships.

  • In 2022, there were 4.2 million businesses in the services industry – 76% of the overall business population.

  • London has the highest number of businesses per resident of any region in the UK (1,477 per 10,000 residents).

  • Gross lending (excluding overdrafts) to SMEs by all UK banks in 2022 was £65.1 billion – up 12.8% from £57.7 billion in 2021.

UK business size statistics

How many businesses are there in the UK?

As of October 2023, there were just under 5.6 million private sector UK businesses – an increase of roughly 0.8% (or 54,000) from the previous year. The private sector is largely made up of self-employed owner-operators, sole traders, and small business employers. In fact, SMEs account for more than 99% of all the businesses in the UK. 

Of the 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK, just over 1.4 million had employees, and around 4.1 million had no employees (in other words, self-employed). This means roughly three-quarters (74%) of businesses didn’t employ a single person aside from the owner(s) in 2023. 

A breakdown of the number of businesses in the UK and their employment (2023)

Updated 31 January 2024
Employee size bandBusinessesEmployment (in thousands)
All businesses5,555,13027,524
SMEs (0-249 employees)5,547,17016,432
Small businesses (0-49 employees)5,510,26513,119
With no employees4,110,1454,485
All employers1,444,98522,589
1 to 9 employees1,177,9354,288
10 to 49 employees222,7854,346
20 to 49 employees78,4652,371
50 to 249 employees36,9053,596
250+ employees7,96010,809

(Source: Gov.uk)

The same UK business statistics also found that:

  • In 2023, there were 5.51 million small businesses in the UK (0-49 employees), accounting for 99.2% of the total business population. 

  • There were a further 36,905 medium-sized businesses (50-249 employees), accounting for 0.7% of total businesses. 

  • A total of 7,960 businesses were considered “large” (250+ employees), making up just 0.1% of the UK’s business population.

UK small business employment statistics

How many jobs are created by small businesses?

The latest UK small business statistics found that, in 2023, SME employment stood at 16.7 million. This figure represents a 1.7% rise (+0.3 million) from 2022 and accounts for 61% of all private sector jobs. This means SMEs account for more than three in every five people employed in the UK private sector.

A breakdown of the contribution of different-sized businesses to the total population, employment and turnover (2023)

A comparative bar chart breaking down the percentage of UK businesses, employment, and turnover attributable to small, medium, and large businesses.

To break it down further, employment in small businesses was 13.1 million (around 48% of all private sector jobs), and medium-sized businesses was 3.6 million (13% of private sector jobs), according to UK small business statistics.

Despite having a smaller share of businesses, the 7,960 large firms in the UK make a significant contribution to employment and the nation’s turnover. In 2023, they employed 10.8 million people (39% of private sector jobs) and had a turnover of £2.1 trillion. This equated to just under half (47%) of the UK’s overall earnings for the year. 

How has the business population changed over time? 

There are 2.1 million more businesses in the UK in 2023 than there were in 2000, with total numbers rising from around 3.5 million to 5.6 million (+60%) over this period. While these latest figures represent a rise from the beginning of 2022 when there were 5.5 million, they are still down from 2020 when there were around 5.9 million businesses in the UK. This is a decrease of 7.1% – or 425,370 businesses – in the space of three years.

A breakdown of the number of private sector businesses in the UK (2000-23)

A line graph showing the changes in the number of businesses in the UK between 2000 and 2022.

Recent buy-to-let statistics found that the average landlord has 4.8 buy-to-let mortgages, with 60% landlords funding some of their portfolio through buy-to-lets

The average age profile of companies in the UK

The average age of a company has gradually declined from 10.7 years in 1999-00 to 8.6 years (-20%) in 2022-23. 

Since 1999-00, the steady decline in the average age of a company could be due to the general increasing trend seen in the number of incorporations and dissolutions. Therefore, it is likely that the increasing number of incorporations has led to a greater number of younger companies on the register, which lowered the average age of companies overall as a result. 

The most recent UK business report from the government shows that average business age remained unchanged between 2021-22 and 2022-23, having risen from 8.5 years (+1%) in 2020-21.

A breakdown of the age profile of companies on the UK register (2023)

A horizontal bar chart breaking down the age profile of companies in the UK by percentage

A recent UK government business report found that around seven in 10 (71.7%) UK businesses in 2023 had been in existence for less than 10 years. 

More than a third (35.4%) were aged between one and four years, with a further fifth (21.7%) aged between five and nine. Less than 5% of companies had been around for 20 years or more, with just 1.3% exceeding 50 years in business.

UK small business creation statistics

How many new businesses are launched in the UK?

The total register size for UK businesses at the end of March 2023 – including those in the process of dissolution and liquidation – was 5,116,743. 

When compared with the same period in March 2022, this is an increase of 4.5%. Disregarding businesses in the process of dissolution or liquidation, the number of registered businesses was 4,645,402.

Regionally, England and Wales had the highest number of registered companies in 2023, with a combined total of 4,788,597 businesses – up 4.6% from 2022. The latest UK business stats found that Scotland had 250,880 registered companies (+3.6%) and Northern Ireland had 73,266 registered firms (+4.6%).

A breakdown of the number of companies on the total register by UK country (2023)

Nested Proportional Area Chart breaking down the total companies in the UK by country in March 2023 alongside the percentage increase from March 2022.

From 2022-23, there were around 801,000 new UK businesses – an increase of 6.4% from the previous year, when the total number of company launches was 753,164. The 2022-23 figure is the second-highest total on record behind 2020-21, when there were 810,316 new businesses launched – around 1% more than in 2023-23.

In 2023, there were 585,807 company dissolutions – an increase of 0.7% compared with 2021-22 and the highest number of dissolutions on record.

Regionally, the highest rate of increase in the number of dissolutions in 2022-23 was found in England and Wales (+0.9%). The number of company dissolutions decreased in Northern Ireland and Scotland in the same year by rates of 3% and 1.5%, respectively. 

Despite these fluctuations, the number of incorporations and dissolutions over time has increased consistently. There were over 600,000 more incorporations in 2022-23 compared to 1986-87 when records began, and around 500,000 more dissolutions by comparison.

UK business owner statistics

What kind of firms make up the UK’s business population?

There are three main legal forms of business in the private sector: 

  • 1. Sole proprietorships: A business owned and run by one person, and there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business entity.

  • 2. Ordinary partnerships: A business owned and run by two or more people. No formal agreement is necessary, and partners share risks, costs and responsibilities. 

  • 3. Companies: A business owned by its members. There is limited liability, which means the company’s finances are separate from the personal finances of its owners, and creditors may only pursue the company’s assets to settle a debt.

In 2023, more than half (56%) of the UK private sector was taken up by sole proprietorships or self-employed businesses. Almost two-fifths (37%) of businesses were actively trading, and 6% were ordinary partnerships. 

A breakdown of the number of UK businesses in the private sector, with and without employees (2023)

Updated 31 January 2024
Business typeNumber of businessesPercentage of all businessesBusinesses with employeesBusinesses with no employees
Sole proprietorships3.1 million56%212,0002.9 million
Companies2.1 million37%1.1 million910,000
Ordinary partnerships365,0006%91,000275,000

(Source: Gov.uk)

Between 2022 and 2023, the number of companies in the UK increased by 12,000 (+1%), sole proprietorships increased by 46,000 (+1%), and ordinary partnerships increased by 13,000 (+4%).

By comparison, in the period between 2010 and 2023, the number of sole proprietorships grew by 380,000 (+14%), and the number of companies increased by 782,000 (+62%). However, the number of ordinary partnerships fell by 90,000 (20%).

Further to this, SME Finance Monitor reports that, in 2021, 72% of companies had one owner. This means that, of all SMEs, 84% were either sole proprietorships or companies with one owner – higher than the 75% recorded in 2020. 

This number is likely due to the uptick in people deciding to start a side hustle or go it alone and start up their own business following the Great Resignation towards the end of 2020. Of these business owners, 9% ran more than one business.

UK family-owned business statistics

How many businesses in the UK are family-owned?

A recent UK business report found that, in 2021, 80% of SMEs were defined as family-owned businesses – up from 77% in 2020. Of the smaller enterprises, 82% of micro-businesses were considered family-owned, along with 69% of small businesses and 57% of medium-sized companies. 

Family businesses were most likely to be in the following sectors:

  • Primary (Agriculture, Mining, Fishing, Forestry) (90%)

  • Construction (89%)

  • Retail and wholesale (87%)

  • Transport, accommodation and food (83%)

  • Administration (83%)

UK business location statistics

Which area of the UK is home to the most businesses?

Between 2022 and 2023, there were 1,015 businesses per 10,000 resident adults in the UK. This number was even larger in London, with 1,477 businesses per 10,000 residents – the highest number in all UK countries and English regions.

The “North-South divide” is very much apparent in the number of companies, as there were just 718 businesses per 10,000 residents in the North East. This is 51% fewer than London and the lowest business density rate of all UK countries and English regions.

A breakdown of the number of businesses in the UK private sector per 10,000 adults in UK countries and English regions (2023)

 A map graphic showing the total number of UK businesses by region alongside the number of businesses per 10,000 employees.

In terms of the number of businesses, more than a third (34%) of the UK business population can be found in London or the South East, with around 1 million and 852,000 businesses, respectively. 

Of these businesses, there are approximately 1.047 million SMEs in London, which account for 99.8% of all businesses in the capital. In the South East, there are around 851,000 SMEs, which account for 99.9% of all businesses in the region.

A breakdown of the number of businesses and employers in the UK private sector by region (2023)

Updated 25 January 2024
RegionNumber of enterprises (2023)Percentage change from 2022
United Kingdom5,555,1300.01
North East156,4250.01
North West545,1500.06
Yorkshire and Humber389,1650.01
East Midlands382,0000.04
West Midlands448,2400.03
East of England569,1800.05
South East852,2100.01
South West524,005-2%
Northern Ireland122,095-5%

(Source: Gov.uk)

Between 2022 and 2023, the overall number of UK businesses increased by 2% in England, but declined by 5% in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The number of businesses in Wales remained largely unchanged over this period, at just under 219,000.

The number of private sector businesses increased in most English regions, with the largest percentage rise documented in the North West (+6%).

The only English region to experience a decline between 2022-23 was the South West, which saw its number of businesses drop by 2%.

Since 2010, the number of businesses has increased in all the UK countries and regions. The most significant increase has been in London (+46%), and the smallest increase has been in Northern Ireland (+2%).

SectorNumber of businesses (thousands)Percentage of overall businesses
Agriculture, mining and utilities1803%
All services4,17076%
Of which:
Accommodation and food2214%
IT and communications3356%
Financial and insurance842%
Real estate activities1302%
Professional and scientific76214%
Administrative and support service4739%
Health and social work3416%
Arts and recreation2755%
Other service activities3556%

(Source: House of Commons Library)

At the other end of the scale, the real estate and financial/insurance industries accounted for the lowest percentage of total UK businesses, with each sector making up 2% of the overall business population. 

These sectors were followed by agriculture, mining, and utilities, which accounted for 3% of the total UK businesses.

Which sectors are experiencing the most growth in the UK?

UK business facts show that, in 2022, around one in four (27%) UK SMEs achieved growth over the year. 

Around three in 10 (29%) SMEs in the wholesale and retail sector achieved growth over this period – the joint-highest of any sector. The other two industries that achieved this level of growth were manufacturing and property/business services. 

A breakdown of the percentage of SMEs that achieved growth by industry (2022)

Horizontal bar graph showing the percentage of UK businesses that achieved growth by industry in 2022.

More than 20% of businesses in every industry achieved growth in 2022, with construction’s total of 23% the lowest overall percentage. 

Though hotels and restaurants’ total growth of 24% was the joint-second lowest figure, this represents a significant increase (+16%) from 2021, when only 8% of businesses in this sector achieved growth.  

Which UK business sector employs the most people?

The UK sector that employs the largest number of people is wholesale and retail trade. This industry is responsible for almost a fifth (18%) of the UK’s workforce, with 46% of its employees working for small or medium-sized businesses, according to recent UK business facts.

A breakdown of the number of people employed in private sector businesses in the United Kingdom in 2023, by sector

Horizontal bar graph breaking down the total number of employees across each UK industry.

The industry employing the lowest number of people in the UK was mining, energy supply, and waste management, with only 360,000 UK workers employed in this sector. This number represents around 1.3% of the overall workforce in the UK. 

The next lowest industry for employment was agriculture, forestry, and fishing with its 490,000 employees accounting for 1.8% of UK jobs. 

Which UK sectors have grown over time?

The latest UK business stats found that just four industries in the UK managed to grow their business population in 2023. They are:

  • Property (+2.7%)

  • Health (+2.8%

  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and other services (+1.7%)

  • Construction (+0.8%).

A breakdown of the total number of UK businesses by industry in 2022 and 2023

IndustryTotal businesses (to the nearest thousand) in 2022Percentage of total business in 2022Total businesses (to the nearest thousand) in 2023Percentage of total business in 2023
Agriculture, forestry and fishing1435.10%1415.20%
Mining, quarrying and utilities160.60%160.60%
Motor trades812.90%813%
Wholesale and retail; repair of motor vehicles41415%40214.70%
Transport and storage (inc. postal)1385%1294.70%
Accommodation and food services1756.30%1756.40%
Information and communication1967.10%1876.90%
Finance and insurance602.20%592.20%
Professional, scientific and technical43115.60%41515.20%
Business administration and support services2298.30%2268.30%
Public administration and defence80.30%80.30%
Arts, entertainment, recreation and other services1816.50%1846.80%

(Source: ONS)

Transport and storage saw the biggest percentage decrease in population between 2022-23, falling by 6.5% (9,000) to 129,000. The information and communication industry experienced the next highest decrease (-4.6%), followed by the professional, scientific, and technical industry (-3.7%).

There were eight other industries that saw their business population decrease between 2022-23. They were:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (-1.4%)

  • Production (-1.9%)

  • Manufacturing (-1.4%)

  • Wholesale and retail, and the repair of motor vehicles (-2.9%)

  • Wholesale (-3.7%)

  • Retail (-3.1%)

  • Finance and insurance (-1.7%)

  • Business administration and support services (-1.3%).

UK business income statistics 2023

Which UK business sector makes the most profit?

Recent UK business statistics from Statista found that the median profit of SMEs in the UK was approximately £12,000 in 2022. Of all the industries in the UK, SMEs in the property and business services and the wholesale and retail sectors had the highest average profit (£15,000).

A breakdown of the median profit made by UK SMEs across various industries (2022)

A horizontal bar chart breaking down the median profit of UK SMEs by industry in 2022.

At the other end of the scale, the health and social work sector made the least average profit in 2022, at £7,000. Health and social work’s profits were 30% lower than the next lowest sectors, with transport recording a median profit of £10,000.

Analysis of UK business performance

As of the fourth quarter of 2022, three-fifths (60%) of SMEs in the UK reported that they had made a profit in the previous 12 months, compared with 8% that broke even, and 18% that made a loss. 

A breakdown of the business performance of SMEs in the UK from Q1 2012 to Q4 2022

A line graph documenting the number of SMEs that made a profit, made a loss, or broke even between 2012 and 2022.

Business income statistics found that the share of SMEs making a profit remained relatively stable between 2012 and 2020, when it fell from 73% in the first quarter of that year to 47% in the second quarter of 2021. Since then, things have gradually improved, rising to 62% in the second quarter of 2022 before falling to 60% in the next quarter.

Following a peak of +20% in Q2 2021, the share of companies reporting a loss had fallen to 18% by the fourth quarter 2021. This would drop further to 16% in Q2 2022, before rising back to 18% by Q4 2022.

UK business finance statistics 2023

At the end of Q4 2022, 53% of SMEs were borrowing more than they had before the pandemic: 23% had started borrowing, 18% had taken on additional borrowing, and 11% were making more use of existing facilities. 

Those with 1-9 employees were most likely to have increased their borrowing (56%), as were those in the hotel and restaurant (62%) and healthcare (68%) sectors, compared to 45-59% in other sectors. 

A third (33%) of new borrowers were worried about repaying their facilities, as were the 27% who’d taken on additional borrowing, according to recent UK business stats.

Overall, the equivalent of 7% of all SMEs expressed concern about repayments, which can negatively affect your business credit report.

UK business lending statistics 2023

Gross lending (excluding overdrafts) to SMEs by all UK banks in 2022 was £65.1 billion, according to the Bank of England. This was up 12.8% from £57.7 billion in 2021 and is the second-highest number on record. 

The only year to date that has exceeded this figure was 2020, when borrowing accelerated past £100 billion (£104.8 billion) at the height of the pandemic. The record gross lending in 2020 was driven by the Bank’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes, particularly the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Bounce Bank Loan Scheme (BBLS), which were the most relevant to SMEs.

While gross bank lending in 2022 was significantly higher than in both 2021 and 2019, the difference becomes less pronounced when you include inflation. In real terms, gross lending in 2022 was £62.3bn – up £4.6 billion (8%) from 2021 but only £2 billion (3.3%) higher than in 2019. Overall, this figure was lower than in five of the previous seven years.

The first part of 2023 saw a drop in new lending to SMEs. In Q1 2023, the total value of gross new lending to UK SMEs was £3.7 billion – a 24% drop from Q1 2022 (£4.9 billion) and less than half the total recorded for the same time in 2021 (£7.6 billion).

This trend would continue in Q2 2023, with a gross new borrowing total of £3.6 billion, almost a third (29%) less compared to Q1 2022.

A mini infographic highlighting the gross lending of SMEs in 2022 and a comparison against previous years.

According to a UK business report from SME Finance Monitor, overall application success rates across all products was 62% from Q3 2021 to Q4 2022. This was down 23% from the same period a year earlier and 9% lower than pre-pandemic figures.

The report also found that:

  • Larger businesses saw higher success rates across their applications, with an acceptance rate of 94% for companies with 50-249 employees compared to just 56% for businesses with no employees.

  • The main reason for additional funding was to manage cash flow, with seven in 10 businesses (69%) seeking credit for this reason.

  • Business development was the next most popular reason for credit (37%) followed by expansion (19%), and machinery (14%).

  • Of those that applied for finance, half sought a traditional bank loan (50%) with a further 17% applying for a bank overdraft. 

  • Around one in 20 applied for either leasing and hire purchase (6%) or a business credit card (5%), with 1% applying for invoice finance. 

A breakdown of why funding was required by UK SMEs in Q4 2022

Why was funding required?All SMEs0 employees1-9 employees10-49 employees50-249 employees
Cash flow related69%70%64%64%62%
Working capital to help with cash flow49%50%44%49%55%
To cover a short-term funding gap36%39%29%21%9%
To cope with the impact of the pandemic20%22%16%13%1%
To help through trading difficulties24%26%18%11%2%

(Source: SME Finance Monitor)

The same report found the percentage of businesses needing credit for cashflow purposes decreases as the size of SMEs increases. While 70% of businesses with 0 employees sited cashflow as a primary reason, this fell to 62% for businesses 50-249 employees. 

A similar trend can be found when looking at businesses seeking credit to cope with the impact of the pandemic, with just 1% of SMEs in the largest category (50-250 employees) requiring credit for this reason.

A breakdown of why funding was required by UK SMEs in Q4 2022 by business size and year

Why was funding required?All SMEs0 employees1-9 employees10-49 employees50-249 employees2019202020212022
Business development related37%36%40%39%38%58%24%24%37%
Invest in a new plant, machinery, etc.14%14%16%16%23%25%9%11%14%
To fund expansion in the UK19%20%16%13%8%20%11%9%19%
A new business opportunity11%11%11%7%12%13%4%5%11%
To fund research and development5%5%4%2%XN/AN/AN/AN/A
To fund new premises3%2%5%5%X7%1%2%3%
To take on staff4%4%5%7%3%5%2%1%4%
To fund expansion overseasN/AN/AN/A1%5%3%1%1%3%

(Source: SME Finance Monitor)

Bank of England figures show the demand for SME lending decreased throughout 2023. Following the annual growth rate of lending to SMEs reaching record lows in mid-2022, the figure increased slightly to -3.8% by November 2022. Since then, demand has decreased again, peaking at lows of -4.9% in September 2023 before increasing to -4.6% in October. 

These low-lending figures occurred despite small businesses in the UK making net debt repayments totalling £73.6 billion in 2022 – up 12% from 2021 and the highest figure on record.

According to SME Finance Monitor, this could also be because more than three in 10 SMEs (34%) injected personal funds into their business in 2022, down from 37% in 2021 but greater than 2020 figures. Just under a quarter of all SMEs (22%) said that it was something they felt they “had” to do – up from 11% in 2019.

How many UK small businesses use external finance?

According to a UK business report from SME Finance Monitor, 36% of SMEs used external finance in 2022. This aligns with 2020 levels (37%) after an increase in 2021 (43%). 

The decrease in use was seen across all SME categories, with the largest SMEs (50-249 employees) the least likely to be using external finance (32%), and the highest use amongst those with 10-49 employees (57%). From an industry perspective, those trading in wholesale and retail were most likely to use external finance (42%).

What is external finance?

Sources of finance that come from outside a business. These include friends and family, bank loans and overdrafts, venture capital and business angels, new partners, share issue, trade credit, leasing, hire purchase, and government grants.

The widespread usage of the Bounce-Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) and pandemic-related grants meant these were the most common finance forms SMEs applied at the height of the pandemic. The discontinuation of this scheme in March 2021 has halted the decline previously seen in applications for many traditional SME finance options like business loans, prepaid business cards, and business current account overdrafts.

A breakdown of SME demand for finance in the UK (2020-2022)

Comparative bar chart breaking down the percentage of SMEs applying for various forms of external finance in 2021 and 2022.

The number of SMEs seeking bank loans and private lending has increased (both +3%) while the number applying for a bank overdraft has remained unchanged, according to UK business stats.

The biggest fall in applications was found in government and local grants, which more than halved from 26% to 12% between 2021 and 2022.

Though only 12% of SMEs applied for a credit card in 2022 (-1% from 2021), most companies still see business credit cards as an essential tool, with Forbes finding that two-thirds (67%) of small businesses have a company credit card. Despite this, just a quarter (24%) say it’s their primary method of business spending.

How much finance is sought by SMEs in the UK?

Businesses with employees are more likely to seek external finance (50%) or non-government-backed finance (47%) than firms with no employees (35% and 31%, respectively). 

Furthermore, employers are more likely to seek higher values than zero-employee companies. In fact, in 2022, more than half (51%) of SME employers sought external finance exceeding £25,000 – double the number of companies with no employees (25%).

A breakdown of the median value of external finance sought by UK SMEs (2021-2022)

Type of businessMedian value 2021Median value 2022
All companies£10,000£14,000
No employees£10,000£10,000
SME employers£25,000£25,000

(Source: British Business Bank)

Companies with no employees were most likely to seek a median of £10,000 in external finance, compared with SME employers seeking a median of £25,000. The figures for both are identical to the figures recorded for 2021.

The median loan value when factoring in all companies is £14,000 – up 40% from 2021 (£10,000).

Looking for a better way to manage your business finances? Visit our site to compare the best deals on business savings accounts alongside expert advice on opening a savings account.

Barriers faced by ethnic minorities

Before the pandemic, demand for finance from ethnic minority-led businesses was similar to that of other firms. UK diversity in business statistics found that applications increased significantly among all smaller businesses from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, but the increase was far greater among ethnic minority-led businesses.

There was also an increase in the use of finance, with around half (51%) of ethnic minority-led businesses using finance from Q2 2020 to Q2 2021, significantly above other businesses.

Increased use of finance has been driven by increased take-up of small business loans, particularly government-backed loan schemes. In 2021, ethnic minority-led businesses were significantly more likely to be using a Bounce-Back Loan than their counterparts – 34% compared to 22%, respectively.

UK business insurance statistics 2023

The latest UK business insurance statistics found that 44% of SMEs in the UK have no commercial insurance – up from 40% in 2021. This amounts to over 2.4 million SMEs in the UK.

A further 40% are thought to be underinsured, meaning their premises and assets are insured for less than their full value. This figure could be as high as 50%, with inflation, extreme weather, and distribution and supply issues in wake of the war in Ukraine expected to have further increased the number of underinsured businesses. 

The average cost of public liability insurance in the UK was £118 in 2022, with the average cost of employers’ liability insurance per office employee found to be £61. This rises by more than 200% to £213 for an employee carrying out physical work, such as construction.

The UK insurance industry is the fourth largest in the world and the biggest in Europe, with UK insurers typically paying out at least £22 million per day in business insurance claims. Of these claims, around £7.6 million per day comes from liability claims, with £1.8 million from employers' liability. 

Claims paid out in the UK account for 20.5% of the overall total across Europe. Professional Indemnity (PI) claims are the most frequent business claims made in the UK, with over a quarter of claims relating to PI claims such as professional negligence and breach of copyright.

What are the most common types of business insurance claims?

A breakdown of the percentage of business loss of value incidents globally by event

A radial chart breaking down the percentage of global business loss of value incidents by event.

Recent business stats found that fire and explosion was the most common single cause of loss by value for businesses globally, accounting for more than a fifth (21%) of all instances. 

Natural catastrophes were the next most common cause (15%), with the top two accounting for nearly 40% of the overall total. Natural catastrophes were responsible for 6% more loss-of-value incidents than both faults and aviation crashes combined, which were the joint-third highest causes (9%).

Find comprehensive advice on how to make a claim on your business insurance in the event of a financial loss.

What are the reasons many UK businesses don’t have insurance?

The latest UK business statistics found that nearly half (47%) of the uninsured businesses in the UK consider themselves too small for insurance. This was the most popular reason cited by respondents as a reason for not acquiring business insurance.

Reason for not having insurancePercentage
The business is too small47%
I work from home42%
No customers come to my premises34%
There's not much to insure, eg no premises, no vehicles33%

(Source: Allianz)

A further four in 10 (42%) cited the fact they work from home as a driving factor, with just over a third (34%) reasoning that no customers come to their premises.

How many UK businesses have cyber insurance?

A mini infographic highlighting the percentage of cybercrimes in the UK directed at SMEs

Despite cyber-attacks posing threats to businesses of all sizes, the latest UK business statistics found that many SMEs do not protect their business with cyber insurance. Of the different sizes of SMEs, more than half (56%) of medium-sized businesses had invested in cyber insurance, along with 40% of small businesses and just 17% of micro businesses.  

Though cybercrime has been traditionally seen as a problem affecting large companies, a recent UK business report found that 96% of all cyber-attacks are directed at SMEs, with the risks for many businesses increasing since they moved more of their operations online during the pandemic.

UK online business statistics 

The UK has the most advanced e-commerce market in Europe. According to the most recent figures from the ONS, the UK’s e-commerce revenue in 2022 amounted to around £105 billion – a 3% decrease from the year before. However, the industry is expected to be worth £154 billion by 2027.

In 2021, the UK had Europe’s biggest Business to customer (B2C) e-commerce market, with UK consumers spending 254 billion euros on online purchases, roughly twice as much as the French, who came second (123.4 billion euros). As a result, based on internet shopping figures, the average revenue per user was expected to reach £2,490 in 2022.

Comparatively, online B2C sales peaked at £197.1 billion in 2019, up £8.8 billion from 2018 (£188.3 billion). B2B sales didn’t see such a large jump, with sales declining from £166.1 billion in 2018 to £159.3 billion in 2019.

UK online retail statistics

A mini infographic highlighting the percentage of online sales in the retail sector's overall sales figures for August 2023.

The latest UK online business statistics found that the retail sector is responsible for around 8% of e-commerce sales across all industries in the UK. In the retail sector alone, online sales constituted more than a quarter (26.9%) of all sales in February 2023 – 0.5% more than the same month in 2022. 

Following consistent rises in market share between 2006 and 2020, the overall percentage is now more than 10% lower than the pandemic peak of 37.4% (February 2021).

UK mobile commerce statistics

In the third quarter of 2021, UK consumers collectively spent 120 billion hours on shopping apps – nearly double the amount from 2019. So it is unsurprising that mobile commerce represented 55% of online retail sales in the UK in 2022 – the highest percentage in Europe. 

The latest UK business statistics found that:

  • In September 2023, clothing was the most common item bought online in the UK, with 56% of online shoppers buying clothes online.

  • This was followed by shoes (38%), books, movies, music, and games (33%), and food and beverages (32%).

  • The least purchased items online in the UK were bags and luggage (13%) and sports and outdoor products (16%).

UK e-commerce payment method statistics

Between 2022 and 2023, digital/mobile wallets were a popular payment method, used by more than a third (35%) of consumers who made e-commerce payments. This is a similar story in-store too, with around 10% of point-of-sale (POS) transactions made using digital wallets.

Recent credit card statistics found that since the Covid-19 pandemic, 71% of shoppers have replaced cash with card payments to some extent, with nearly half (46%) now paying entirely with a credit or debit card via in-store card payment solutions like a card machine.

UK business founder statistics 2023 (exclusive data)

In a bid to find out which university produces the highest percentage of business founders, our exclusive study looked at the number of listed founders for universities across the UK. By comparing this figure with the total number of listed alumni (or former students) in each establishment, we were able to rank each university by the percentage of alumni that went on to start their own business.

Which university produces the most business founders? 

Our independent study found that universities in London dominated when it came to producing business founders, with seven of the top 10 based in the English capital. 

With nearly 30,000 founders across 268,000 listed alumni, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) was found to be the UK university with the highest percentage of business founders. With 11.1% of its former students listed as founders, LSE was the only UK university where more than 10% of alumni have gone on to start a business.

A breakdown of the 10 UK universities with the highest percentage of business founders in 2023

UniversityListed alumniListed foundersFounders %
London School of Economics and Political Science268,18629,76711.1
The University of Oxford278,98827,3009.79
University of the Arts, London204,78220,0289.78
Goldsmiths College65,5746,0399.21
The University of Cambridge359,91732,1798.94
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine149,74013,3688.93
University College London241,12220,6888.58
King's College London203,40716,2147.97
Birkbeck College59,5064,6077.74
The University of Edinburgh181,36313,8027.61

(Source: Money.co.uk via LinkedIn and HESA)

Though second-placed Oxford University had 36% more founders than third-place University of the Arts, it had substantially more alumni, meaning its overall founder percentage was just 0.1% higher (9.79% vs 9.78%). Similarly, though fifth-placed Cambridge University was found to have the most founders of any establishment (32,719), it also had the highest number of alumni (359,917) – resulting in an overall percentage of 8.94%.

The University of Edinburgh was the only non-English university in the top 10, finishing tenth with a total of 13,802 founders (7.61%). There were no universities from the North of England, Wales, or Northern Ireland in the top 10, with the University of Durham (23rd), Cardiff University (63rd), and Queen's University Belfast (109th) being the highest-ranking universities from these places, respectively. 

A breakdown of the 10 universities with the lowest percentage of business founders

UniversityListed alumniListed foundersFounders %
Edge Hill University36,8218122.21
Harper Adams University11,8292892.44
University College Birmingham15,8503912.47
University of Suffolk16,1434132.56
University of the Highlands and Islands12,2703352.73
Ulster University116,0883,2262.78
The University of the West of Scotland66,2861,8492.79
Teesside University77,7532,1762.8
Liverpool Hope University19,6795602.85
Glasgow Caledonian University99,8062,8822.89

(Source: Money.co.uk via LinkedIn and HESA)

Universities with the lowest percentage of business founders were more geographically diverse than those with the highest numbers – every UK country had at least one university in the top 10.

With less than 1,000 founders (812) out of nearly 37,000 alumni, Lancashire’s Edge Hill University was found to be the UK university with the lowest percentage of founders (2.21%).

Edge Hill was followed by Harper Adams University in Wales which obtained a slightly higher founder percentage (2.44%), despite having around 64% fewer founders than Edge Hill and the lowest total of any university (289).

The University of the Highlands and Islands was the university with the lowest founder percentage in Scotland, with its total of 2.73% the fifth lowest in the UK overall. 

Northern Ireland’s Ulster University had more founders (3,226) than the other universities on the list, but its comparatively high alumni count of 116,088 gave it the sixth-lowest founder percentage overall (2.88%).

Which degree produces the most business founders?

The latest UK business statistics show that the highest number of graduate founders came from degrees relating to business or finance, with each of the top three degrees related to one or both of these subjects.

Business admin and management was found to be the degree that produced by far the most founders. With an overall total of 67,491 graduate founders, the subject produced 21% more founders than the second-highest degree (economics) and 58% more than tenth-placed law. 

A breakdown of the 10 university degrees with the highest number of graduate business founders

Horizontal bar chart showing the total number of graduate founders across the 10 university degrees with the highest number of founders.

There is a considerable gap between the top three degrees and the rest of the degrees in the top 10. Business admin and management, economics, and business/commerce are the top three degrees and their combined figures account for around 43% of the total founders in the top 10. 

While there is a gap of just 6% between second-placed economics (53,619) and third-placed business/commerce (50,382), this is followed by a drop of 22% between the latter subject and fourth-placed marketing (39,358).

The remaining degrees in the top 10 have more comparable numbers, with just over 5,000 founders separating maths in fifth place and tenth-placed law – a gap of around 16%.

A breakdown of the 10 university degrees with the lowest number of graduate business founders

Horizontal bar chart showing the total number of graduate business founders across 10 university degrees with the lowest number of founders.

Computer games and animation was found to be the degree that produced the lowest number of business founders, with its overall total of 671 around 47% less than the next lowest degree (health services, allied health, and health sciences), and 99% less than business admin and management (the degree with the highest number of founders).

Graduates in subjects related to health or social care were found to be less likely to form businesses, with 50% of the degrees with the least founders related to one or both of these subjects. Of these degrees, eighth-placed biomedical sciences was the degree with the most founders (2,294).

Though tourism and travel services management was found to have the tenth lowest number of founders, its total of 4,467 meant that it produced 28% more founders than cinematography and film/video production in ninth. Additionally, tourism and travel services produced over six times more founders than computer games and animation (the degree with the lowest number of founders).

The cost of living crisis and its impact on UK small businesses 2023

The cost of living has been on the rise since early 2021, and inflation reached a 41-year high of 11.1% in October 2022. This had an effect on businesses on the affordability of goods and services. While inflation eased in the following months, it rose again between January 2023 and February 2023 from 10.1% to 10.4%. Since then, numbers have declined throughout 2023, going as low as 3.9% in November 2023.  

We've broken down some ways the cost of living crisis will impact SMEs, and how they can deal with this stressful time.

The impact of increased rent and rates for UK small businesses

In Autumn 2021, the Government officially ended its "work from home" guidance. As a result, many people returned to the office, thereby increasing the cost of commercial real estate. 

Rental prices continued to increase throughout 2022 and 2023, with the average annual price of UK rent rising 6.1% in the 12 months to October 2023 – the largest annual increase on record.

This rent increase is likely to have a detrimental impact on many businesses – particularly SMEs – resulting in businesses eating into profitability or forcing them out of business premises altogether. 

A mini infographic breaking down the percentage of businesses that expected their prices to rise in Q3 2023.

According to a quarterly poll of over 5,000 businesses by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), around two-fifths (41%) of businesses expect their prices to rise in Q3 2023 – down from 60% in Q4 2022. The survey found that around two-thirds (65%) consider inflation to be their most concerning external factor – a decrease from 84% in Q3 2022.

This follows a previous report published by the BCC in early 2022 that found almost three in four (73%) businesses intended to increase prices, alongside 50% seeking to cut costs, and 18% expecting to scale back investment. A further 5% in the same report claimed they were considering ceasing trading altogether. 

If you find yourself struggling to keep up with increasing rent, your commercial lease will be subject to a rent review – typically every three to five years. Landlords often adjust the rent based on the open market rental value or Retail Prices Index (RPI). Consider speaking to a specialist advisor to help you negotiate the best terms for you and your business. 

The impact of rising energy bills on UK small businesses

Energy prices are always going up and down, but in 2023 significant changes were made in the rates quoted for business electricity and gas. This is partly due to supply issues from Russia, which is pushing up costs for businesses and households across Europe. As a result, energy suppliers are quoting high rates due to record-level wholesale prices (what suppliers pay for energy in bulk).

These rates affect the price everyone pays for their energy because suppliers purchase energy from the wholesale market and sell it to customers. When the prices rise, rates are subsequently increased to cover the extra costs, resulting in higher energy bills.

Unfortunately, there has been no price cap for businesses which means, with the cost of living crisis, businesses have been fearing just how much their energy bills could increase.

A mini infographic highlighting the expected increases in energy bills for businesses in the health sector between 2021 and 2022.

However, in September 2022, the Government announced a Energy Bills Relief Scheme (EBRS) in the UK, where wholesale gas and electricity prices for firms would be fixed for six months from the beginning of October up to March 2023. 

Under this package, wholesale prices were fixed for all eligible, non-domestic energy customers at £211 per MWh for electricity and £75 per MWh for gas. Comparatively, without this support package, wholesale costs were expected to be around £600 per MWh for electricity and £180 per MWh for gas. 

Following the expiration of the EBRS, the UK government announced the Energy Bills Discount Scheme that will run from April 2023 to April 2024. This scheme sees a maximum discount applied to eligible businesses’ energy bills when wholesale prices go beyond a certain threshold. The maximum discounts have been set at:

  • £19.61 per megawatt hour (MWh) for electricity, with a price threshold of £302 per MWh

  • £6.97 per megawatt hour (MWh) for gas, with a price threshold of £107 per MWh.

Effects of transport and fuel prices on small businesses

Train fares in England and Wales, including season tickets on commuter routes and off-peak tickets, increased by up to 5.9% in March 2023. This is the biggest price hike in ten years. In Scotland, a further 3.8% rise was imposed on-peak and off-peak regulated fares from 24 January 2023.

If the government uses the same formula to calculate train prices in 2024 as they did in 2023, it’s estimated that prices will rise a further 8% in England.

What's more, public transport fares in London also increased by an average of 5.9% in March 2023. 

Those driving to work have had to deal with increased fuel prices too, which reached an all-time high in 2022. After this peak, which saw petrol and diesel prices exceed £1.90 per litre in July 2022, prices have steadily reduced in 2023 to an average of around £1.47 per litre.

A mini infographic highlighting the increase in train fare prices in England and Wales in March 2023.

Rising fuel costs are not a problem exclusive to employees. Fuel is a major expense for small businesses in the UK and can impact supplies, deliveries, and overheads. This affects how businesses price their products and services too – particularly when suppliers pass on their costs to clients.

There are various grants and funding available for businesses struggling with money on Gov.uk, including tax deductions on vehicles linked to business operations.

The increase in minimum living wages and wage bill 

As part of Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Budget 2022, it was announced that the National Living Wage would be increasing 9.7%, from £9.50 to £10.42 an hour from April 2023, meaning full-time workers will make an extra £1,600 a year.   

A further 10% increase was announced in November 2023, which will take the National Living Wage to £11.44 an hour for those aged 21 and over from Spring 2024. This will mean that full-time workers could make an an extra £1,800 per year.

A mini infographic highlighting the increase of the National Living Wage that will occur in Spring 2024.

Prior to this, in the 2022 Spring Statement, Rishi Sunak announced the Government would be increasing Employment Allowance from £4,000 to £5,000 to tackle rising inflation, which is expected to benefit half a million small businesses in the UK. This change enables small businesses to reduce their employer National Insurance contribution (NIC) bills.

Find out more about the small business Employment Allowance on Gov.uk

How has the number of women in business changed over time in the UK?

The latest UK business statistics show a steady rise in the number of women business owners from 2003-23. 

From 1984 (the earliest year on record) to 2003, the number of self-employed women in the UK rose by 40%, from 646,000 to 906,000. From here, the numbers continued to accelerate, exceeding 1 million in January 2007 before rising past 1.5 million in January 2017.

After reaching a peak total of 1.7 million in January 2020, numbers decreased by 15% over the next two years, to just under 1.5 million. The downward trend reversed in January 2023, however, with the number of self-employed women rising to 1.6 million – a 10% increase on the same time the previous year.

A breakdown of the number of self-employed workers in the United Kingdom from May 1992 to January 2023, by gender.

A line graph breaking down the number of self-employed men and women in the UK between 2003 and 2023.

While the difference between the number of self-employed men and women in the UK has closed slightly over this period, it remains significant. Though the rise in self-employed men has been substantially slower, the recent total of 2.7 million in January 2023 represents a rise of around 10% from the same time in 2003. As such, there are still 69% more self-employed men in the UK than women. 

In addition to the above data, a report by the BVA Group in February 2020 found that 22 per cent of all SMEs are led by women. 

The same report also found that women businesses are less likely to be using external finance or trade credit, and are more reluctant to borrow than men. They are also slightly less likely to meet the definition of an ambitious risk-taker than their male counterparts. 

What are the main reasons preventing more women from starting a business?

Despite the rise in women-led businesses over the years, a recent UK business survey found just under one in five women (18%) had considered starting their own business – 11% lower than the number of men who answered the same (29%).

A breakdown of the main reasons women claimed were preventing them from starting a business

A pie chart breaking down the main reasons women claimed were preventing them from starting a business.

Of the 82% of women who said they had not considered starting a business, more than a third (35%) of respondents said they had insufficient finances, with a further quarter (24%) feeling that it was too risky. 

One in five (20%) respondents claimed they were already running a company, with 15% feeling they lacked the confidence required to run a business. 

Looking for help starting your own business? Find the best deals available on business start-up loans alongside expert guidance on how to write a business plan and how to fund your business idea.

Where are the UK’s female business hotspots?

The latest UK business statistics found that Edinburgh and South East Scotland were the UK regions with the highest percentage of self-employed women. Having a total of 35,000 self-employed women in these areas, women made up 39% of their overall self-employed workforce.

The English areas with the highest percentage of self-employed women were the North of Tyne region, which includes Newcastle upon Tyne, and the West of England, which finished joint-second with percentages of 34.7%, respectively. 

A regional breakdown of the number of self-employed women (2021) and the overall percentage of self-employed workers

image 26

Though London’s female self-employed total of 286,000 was by far the highest in the UK, its comparatively higher population and larger work force meant that its overall percentage (33.1%) was only the seventh highest in the UK. 

At the other end of the table, the West Midlands Combined Authority had the lowest percentage of female self-employed workers. Despite having 45,000 female self-employed workers – three times more than the region with the next lowest percentage (Swansea Bay Region) – this only accounted for 27.2% of the overall workforce. 

Swansea Bay Region (28.9%), Greater Manchester (29.4%), and Tees Valley (29.4%) were the regions with the next lowest percentages - the latter having the lowest overall number of female self-employed workers in the UK (10,000).

What are the biggest companies in the UK?

10 biggest companies in the UK by market cap 2023

The latest UK business statistics from the London Stock Exchange found that Shell had the highest market cap of any UK company in December 2023, with the pharmaceutical company valued at £168.6 billion.

Shell was worth around 7% more than second-placed AstraZeneca (£158.1 billion) and  nearly a third (33%) more than HSBC in third place (£126.9 billion). These three companies were the only ones with a market cap above £100 billion, with the next-highest figure recorded by Unilever (£94.5 billion) 

A breakdown of the 10 biggest companies in the UK by market cap in 2023

 A horizontal bar graph breaking down the 10 biggest companies in the UK by market cap in 2023.

Around two-fifths (40%) of the companies in the top 10 belonged to either the fuel industry (Shell and BP) or the pharmaceutical industry (AstraZeneca and GSK). Combined, the two pharmaceutical companies are worth around £245.1 billion, with the two fuel companies valued approximately £216.9 billion.

Which companies generate the most revenue in the UK?

Recent UK business statistics found that Shell was the UK company that generated the most revenue of any business between Q2 2022 and Q1 2023. With a total revenue of £289.4 billion, the British fuel company generated almost two-thirds (64%) more money than any other UK company.

Shell was followed in the list by a direct competitor in the fuel industry, with BP generating a total revenue of £176.4 billion. Though its revenue was more than £100 billion lower than Shell’s, BP’s total revenue was still almost three-quarters (72%) higher than any other company in the UK. 

Prudential was the only non-fuel-based company to record revenue above £100 billion between 2022-23, with the insurance company generating £102.4 billion.

A breakdown of the 10 biggest companies in the UK by revenue 2023

A breakdown of the 10 biggest companies in the UK by revenue in 2022.

Despite only having the 28th highest market cap in the UK, Tesco recorded the fourth-highest revenue of all UK companies between Q2 2022 and Q1 2023 (£65 billion). The company’s overall profit margin of £2 billion in 2022 was relatively low compared to revenue, resulting in a lower share price.

More like UK business facts and statistics

Whether you want to start a business or you're already running one, our business finance team have written a whole range of guides to help with managing your business' money.

UK business FAQs

What is the business population of the UK?

As of October 2023, there were around 5.6 million private sector businesses in the UK. Just over 1.4 million of these have employees and around 4.1 million have no employees (in other words, were self-employed).

How many businesses fail in the first year?

The latest UK business report found that approximately 20% of UK businesses fail in the first year.

What is the biggest business sector in the UK?

The biggest business sector in the UK is the services industry. In 2022, there were 4.2 million businesses in the services industry, equating to just over three-quarters (76%) of all companies in the UK.

How many small businesses fail in the first three years?

The most recent UK business statistics found that around 60% of start-up businesses will fail within the first three years of trading.

What is the biggest business in the UK?

The latest UK business statistics found that Shell is the biggest UK business in terms of market cap, with an overall value of £166.6 billion, as of December 2023.

Shell is also the company with the highest overall revenue, with earnings of £289.4 billion between Q2 2022 and Q1 2023.

How to start a business UK?

Though starting a business for the first time may sound like a daunting task, you can be up and running quickly with the right idea, finances, and preparation. Before starting your business, you should spend considerable time identifying and researching your target market to ensure you can create a brand that appeals to the right people.  

Once you’ve done this, you’ll then need to begin planning and budgeting for key startup aspects like registration, marketing, and stock or manufacturing costs. 

Our business pages have expert advice on all aspects of the start-up process, from identifying a good business idea to budgeting and securing the right funding.

What is a business partnership UK?

A business partnership is a legal entity involving two or more people. Under a business partnership, you and your partner(s) share equal responsibility for profits, liabilities, and running costs.

Unlike a limited company, partners in a business partnership are equally held personally responsible for any liabilities. This means that any payments not covered by business finances will be taken from personal finance and assets.

How much is business insurance in the UK?

The cost of business insurance can vary substantially depending on the size of your business, the industry, and the type of risks involved for employees during their day-to-day work.  

The average cost of public liability insurance in the UK was found to be £118 in 2022, with the average cost of employers’ liability insurance per office employee found to be £61. This increases to £213 for an employee carrying out physical work, such as construction.

How many women business owners are there in the UK?

The latest UK business statistics found that there were around 1.6 million female-owned businesses in the UK as of January 2023 – a rise of 76% from the same time 20 years ago. 

What is an SME?

According to the Government’s UK SME definition, a small to medium enterprise (or SME), is any organisation that has fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than €50 million. SMEs are divided into three categories: micro (less than 10 employees), small (between 10 and 49 employees), and medium (between 50 and 249 employees).

UK business statistics glossary

Glossary of terms


Alumni is a graduate or former student of a particular school, university, or college.

Average annual growth rate

Average annual growth rate refers to the average annualised return of an investment, asset, or portfolio over time. Usually, the average annual growth rate compares the financial growth of a specific month against the figures of that same month one year before, to see how growth has increased or decreased over 12 months.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme is a now defunct government scheme that helped small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000, at a low-interest rate, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Business-to-business (B2B) sales 

Business-to-business (B2B) sales refers to the sales of goods or services from one business to another business.

Business-to-customer (B2C) sales 

Business-to-customer (B2C) sales refers to the sales of goods or services from a business to a member of the general public.

Buy-to-let incorporation

A buy-to-let incorporation is a company set up to monitor the profit and taxes on a buy-to-let property, or collection of properties. 

Buy-to-let mortgage

A buy-to-let mortgage is a mortgage bought by people for the purposes of renting out a property, rather than living in it.

Commercial insurance

Commercial insurance is taken out by a business to cover the value of assets, premises, or finances in the event of an accident or adverse event.

Commercial loan

A commercial loan is a form of debt-based funding in which a bank, or financial institution, lends money to a business. 

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme is a now defunct scheme that helped small and medium-sized businesses access loans and other kinds of finance up to £5 million during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the scheme, the Government guaranteed 80% of the finance to the lender and paid interest and any fees for the first 12 months. 

Cost of living crisis 

A cost of living crisis is a situation in which the cost of everyday essentials like food and energy is rising much faster than average household incomes.

Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is a type of commercial insurance designed to protect businesses from the financial effects of internet-based risks like data breaches or malicious cyber hacks.


In business terms, a founder is a person who starts up their own business.

Gross lending

Gross lending is the total amount of credits issued to banks during a specific accounting period. 

Limited company

A limited company is a business owned by its members. There is limited liability, which means the company’s finances are separate from the personal finances of its owners, and creditors may only pursue the company’s assets to settle a debt.

Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is an unincorporated business with only one owner who pays personal income tax on profits earned.


Liquidation is the process of permanently closing a business and distributing its assets to claimants.

Market cap

Market cap is the total market value of a company's outstanding shares of stock. 

Ordinary partnership

An ordinary partnership is one that is business owned or run by two or more people. No formal agreement is necessary, and partners share risks, costs and liabilities.

Private sector business

A private sector business refers to any for-profit business run by an individual or company that is not controlled by the state.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is a type of commercial insurance that covers injuries and damage claims brought against a business by a third party.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance is a type of commercial insurance that covers a business against claims made by clients or third parties as a result of the impact of negligent services provided or negligent advice given.
























































































Which university produces the most business founders?


Which degree type produces the most business founders?


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About Kyle Eaton

Kyle is a finance editor specialising in all things related to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). He has over ten years' experience working in financial services and as a writer.

View Kyle Eaton's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.