UK business numbers reach record high

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The UK now has a record number of businesses

New figures published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills have revealed the number of companies currently in operation across the UK has now reached record levels.

Spanning all manner of industries and employment sectors, the government's annual Business Population Estimates report has shown the number of registered private sector businesses in the UK now stands at more than 5.4 million.

This means the total number of operating companies across the length and breadth of the country has risen by 900,000 since 2010.

Overall, the report also revealed there has been a considerable upturn in employment over the last year, with 35,000 businesses reporting they have increased their number of staff over during the last 12 months.

According to the government's data, small businesses continue to make up the vast majority of UK companies at 99.3 per cent of the overall total. In addition, the data showed that these firms alone generate more than £1 trillion in turnover towards the UK economy.

This is compared to the nation's 7,000 large businesses (employing more than ten million members of staff), which generate a combined £2 trillion in annual turnover.

Responding to the figures, business minister Anna Soubry said: "It's fantastic news there are now a record number of businesses in the UK, creating jobs and ensuring our country’s economic security.

"Our long-term economic plan has helped create the conditions for businesses to start, grow and flourish. But with risks in the global economy, this government is determined to continue to back our businesses and grow our economy."