Businesses in Scotland: 2022

Information on the number of businesses (also known as enterprises) operating in Scotland.

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Comparisons with the UK Business Stock

Scotland has a different business base structure compared to that of the UK as a whole. Table 1 below shows that, in 2022, Scotland had a business stock rate of 773 businesses per 10,000 adults. This compares to 1,014 businesses per 10,000 adults in the UK as a whole. These rates refer to both registered and unregistered businesses. Scotland has a lower rate of small businesses compared to the UK as a whole. This is especially the case for those that do not employ others. Whereas Scotland has a higher rate of large businesses than the UK. Large businesses provide a higher share of Scotland’s private sector employment (44%). This is in comparison to the UK as a whole (39%). Note that the size bands used in Table 1 are as per the number of jobs in the business UK-wide.

Table 1: Number of private sector businesses per 10,000 resident adults, UK and Scotland, 2022

Country Resident Adults Private Sector Enterprises (registered & unregistered) Private Sector Enterprises per 10,000 adults
Enterprise Size
(number of employees UK-wide)
None Small 
All Sizes
UK 54,353,665 5,508,900 747 258 7 1 1,014
Scotland 4,568,378 352,980 550 210 7 5 773

Source: UK - Business Population Estimates 2022, BEIS. Scotland – Businesses in Scotland 2022. Note that we have restricted the Scotland data in the table above to certain business types. This is to ensure as much consistency as possible between the UK and Scotland results. These business types are companies, sole proprietorships, partnerships and public corporations. The data excludes charities. The number of resident adults used is the 2021 mid-year population estimate for Scotland. The 2020 mid-year population estimate is used for the UK. These are the latest estimates available at time of publication.


For enquiries about this publication please contact:

Marina Curran

Business & Innovation Statistics

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

e-mail: or


For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician

Telephone: 0131 244 0442



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