On a national level, there were a record-breaking 669,855 companies formed – up from 634,116 in 2017.
Of the 598,323 formations in England, 217,617 were in London; 33,333 companies were formed in Scotland; 18,079 in Wales; and 8,137 in Northern Ireland.
There is, however, significant turnover in active companies with 504,613 dissolved in 2018. It means that for every 100 new companies formed in the year, 75 existing companies are closed.
Sometimes this is because a company has already served its purpose or a business venture is no longer being pursued. Some companies that have failed to file required submissions at Companies House are struck off by the regulator.
The total number of UK companies now stands at 4,308,022. That’s up 4.6% in a year and represents a 30% increase over the five years from 3,294,414 at the end of 2013. In every country of the UK, there are now more companies in existence than ever before.
London still dominates the UK company population, with 1,163,777 – over 25% of all companies in the UK – having a registered office address in the capital. Greater Manchester is home to 184,396 companies with 167,807 in the West Midlands and 122,421 in Essex.
This information is taken from the Inform Direct Review of Company Formations 2018, which includes a detailed analysis of formations. You can read the report at https://www.informdirect.co.uk/company-formations-2018/. We produce this report each year, combining data from the official register of companies at Companies House, the ONS and our own company formation, dissolution and registration data.