micro business statistics 2019

Micro Business Statistics 2021

The UK’s micro businesses are an economic powerhouse. Here are the statistics that tell us why.

First published in 2019, we’ve updated our micro business statistics piece to bring your the latest figures as of 2021 in the UK. [Last update – 21st January 2021].

Micro Business Statistics 2021 (UK)

Micro businesses are a significant contributor to the UK economy. But just how many of them are they? We took a look at the numbers and compiled micro business statistics related to the UK.

What is a micro business?

A micro business, based on the most commonly accepted definition, is a company between 0 and 9 employees.

Companies House dictates that for a company to qualify as a “micro-entity” it must meet two of the following criteria:

  • 10 employees or fewer
  • Annual turnover of £632,000 or less
  • £316,000 or less on its balance sheet

“What is a micro business” is a question that around 500 people a month ask Google in the UK.

How many micro businesses are there in the UK?

There are 5.7 million micro business in the UK and they represent 95.72% of all UK privately owned businesses.

According to the most recent government figures, the overwhelming majority of the UK’s 5,980,520 business are micro businesses.

  • 4,567,775 UK businesses have no employees (so are simply run by the owners)
  • A further 1,156,925 have between 1 and 9 employees

So in all, there are 5,725,700 micro businesses in the UK. That amounts to an astonishing 95.72% of all of the UK’s businesses.

How Many People are Employed by Micro Businesses?

In the UK, as of the October 2020 estimates, there are 9.1 million people working in micro businesses (included 0 employee owner managed businesses). It’s up from 8.8 million in 2018 and accounts for around 33% of jobs in the private sector.

So owner managed businesses and micro businesses employing up to 9 people are incredibly valuable to the UK economy.

How has the number of micro businesses changed over time?

Since 2010, the number of micro businesses in the UK has increased from 4.2 million to 5.7 million (including 0 employee businesses).

Even Covid doesn’t appear to have stopped business formations and arguably we may have seen many who lost jobs owing to redundancy set up their own micro venture.

So the UK’s micro business scene is absolutely in growth mode and it will apparently take much more than a pandemic to stop it.


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