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Number of UK businesses reaches record high

The number of operational VAT-registered businesses in the UK has hit an all-time high of 2.1 million – an increase of 4% on last year.

That’s according to new research from UHY Hacker Young, which also found that the number of businesses per capita in the UK has now reached almost 33 businesses per 1,000 population; exceptionally close to pre-recession levels.

This growth is attributed to the UK’s “thriving start-up economy”, according to UHY Hacker Young, with entrepreneurial millennials increasing in number. Last year, there were 26,240 UK companies with a director aged 21 or under.

The UK is also now ranked sixth out of 189 countries by the World Bank for “ease of doing business”, while having the lowest corporation tax rates in the G20 group.

The report also pinpoints to the wealth of grants, loans and tax reliefs made available to entrepreneurs by the UK Government; most notably Entrepreneur’s Relief and innovation vouchers.

Marc Waterman, partner, UHY Hacker Young, said: “The UK’s thriving start-up economy has driven the number of businesses to its highest ever level.

“The recession showed that working for big business is no longer a guarantee of job security.

“The UK Government is aware that a large proportion of millennials want to start their own businesses and has put a range of schemes in place to support new companies.

“This has given young people the confidence to strike out on their own. In the past, many would-be entrepreneurs might have thought that starting their own business was too risky, opting for the security of a full-time job. This is no longer the case.”

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