2023 estimates released

New 2023 estimates were released in the UK Business Counts datasets at 09:30 on Wednesday 27 September 2023. These are the equivalent data to that published by ONS in the UK Business: Activity, Size and Location release.

In 2015, ONS extended the coverage of businesses to include a population of solely PAYE based businesses that were previously excluded because of the risk of duplication. In total, in 2015, 105,000 businesses were added.

Improvements in matching of administrative data and research into those units excluded has indicated that the risk of duplication is very small. The addition of these businesses brings the publication in line with Business Demography and the BIS Business Population Estimates, both of which include these businesses. For more information, see the report on Improving the Coverage of UK Business, Activity, Size and Location

Data Available

The release consists of two separate datasets: one containing counts based on the number of enterprises in an area and the other a count based on the number of local units.

An enterprise can be thought of as the overall business, made up of all the individual sites or workplaces. It is defined as the smallest combination of legal units (generally based on VAT and/or PAYE records) that has a certain degree of autonomy within an enterprise group.

A local unit is an individual site (for example a factory or shop) associated with an enterprise. It can also be referred to as workplace.

The product gives counts of the number of enterprises or local units within a geographic area, down to middle layer super output areas, broken down by employment size band, detailed industry (5 digit SIC2007) and legal status.

Accessing Data

Use the wizard or advanced query options to access the datasets:

  • UK Business Counts - enterprises by industry and employment size band [link to data]
  • UK Business Counts - enterprises by industry and turnover size band [link to data]
  • UK Business Counts - local units by industry and employment size band [link to data]