Businesses in Scotland: 2018

This publication is a source of information on the number of businesses (also known as enterprises) operating in Scotland.

This is not the latest Businesses in Scotland release. Please go to the business and innovation statistics collection to find the latest release. 

What do these statistics cover?

This publication provides information on the number of businesses operating in Scotland.  Its main purpose of the publication is to provide an estimate of Scotland’s business stock.

Within the publication the Scottish business stock is broken down by various dimensions including industry, business size, local authority area, urban/rural area and country of ownership. The publication includes all enterprises that operate in Scotland regardless of where the business is based.

The focus of the publication is on private sector enterprises, where the private sector is defined as including the following enterprise types:

  • Companies (including Building Societies)
  • Sole Proprietors
  • Partnerships
  • Public Corporations/Nationalised Bodies
  • Non-profit making bodies and mutual associations

Data is also provided on enterprises' employment and turnover. However, please note that there are time lags associated with the employment and turnover variables.

What are the statistics used for?

Statistics from the ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication are used to provide insight into the characteristics of Scotland’s business stock, and how Scotland’s business stock has changed over time.  The data are used to inform decision making and performance monitoring – both inside and outside government.  More information on uses can be found in the data sources, suitability and uses note (see 'supporting files').

What year do tables relate to?

The latest figures relate to March 2018 and were released on 7 November 2018.

The latest 2018 publication tables are consistent for the years 2010 to 2018.  All industry sector data are based on the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007.

Older tables, available at our online tables archive, have not been updated to reflect the current methodology and are therefore not consistent with the latest tables. However, a high level time series for total (registered and unregistered) enterprises and registered enterprises has been constructed for 2000 to 2018.  This long time series has been produced on a consistent basis as far as possible.



0131 244 6813

Scottish Government
Business and Innovation Statistics
Office of the Chief Economic Adviser
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

We welcome any comments on both the format and content of the website, including any problems you may encounter.

You may also contact the Statistician Group Enquiries for general information.

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