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About Small Businesses

  •     There are 4.8 million small businesses in the UK (up from 4 million in 2003)

  •     3.6 million businesses are sole proprietors

  •     1.3 million are companies of which 747,000 have employees

  •     444,000 are partnerships

  •     97 per cent of firms employ less than 20 people

  •     95 per cent employ less than 5 people

  •     Over 500,000 people start up their own business every year

  •     Small and medium-sized firms employ more than 59.8 per cent of the private sector workforce

  •     22.8 million people work in small and medium-sized firms

  •     Small firms contribute more than 49 per cent of the UK turnover

  •     64 per cent of commercial innovations come from small firms

  •     Wholesale, Retail and Repairs was the biggest employer at the start of 2009

  •     The 563,000 enterprises in this sector employed 4,853,000 people (21.3 per cent of all UK private sector employment)

  •     Small firms collect and pay Tax, NICs, VAT and other dues which help pay for public services

  •     Around 1,580,000 of all UK enterprises are in London and the South-East




 micro: 0-9 employees, small: 10-50 employees, medium: 50-249 employees


 (updated October 2010)




 Figures obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. Home working figures courtesy of Enterprise Nation.


 Courtesy of the Federation For Small Business