Business statistics 2019

Number of Scottish businesses at record high.

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

The Businesses in Scotland 2019 report shows that, as of March 2019, there were an estimated 356,550 private sector businesses operating in Scotland – the highest number since current records began in 2000.

The statistics show that between March 2018 and March 2019, the estimated number of businesses increased by 2.8% (9,755 businesses).

That increase was driven by a 4.3% (7,270) rise in the number of unregistered businesses (those not registered for VAT and/or PAYE), which increased from 170,500 in March 2018 to 177,770 in March 2019.

The number of registered businesses also increased during that period - up by 2,485 businesses (1.4%) from 176,295 to 178,780 – also the highest since current records began.

In the same period there were 354,125 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment, and 41.5% of private sector turnover.


Unregistered enterprises are micro businesses which consist of only a sole trader or partners. Unregistered enterprises do not employ others and have an annual turnover below the VAT threshold (£85,000 as at March 2019).

The estimates include businesses that operate in Scotland irrespective of whether their main UK base is in Scotland or elsewhere. Businesses are classified by employee size bands based on the number of their total UK employees.

Read the full statistical publication 

This publication contains statistics on the number of enterprises (businesses) operating in Scotland. Statistics are provided by industry, business size, local authority area, urban/rural area and country of ownership.

Further information on Business and Enterprise statistics within Scotland

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – further information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland  


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