Businesses in Scotland: 2023

Information on the number of businesses operating in Scotland.

Headline results

  • as at March 2023, an estimated 340,760 private sector businesses were operating in Scotland
  • between March 2022 and March 2023, the estimated number of businesses decreased by 5.6%
  • over the latest year, the number of unregistered businesses decreased by 18,350 (-9.9%) and the number of registered businesses decreased by 1,805 (-1.0%)
  • the decrease in the business stock over the latest year was driven by a fall in the number of small (0 to 49 employees) businesses – down by 20,235 between 2022 and 2023
  • in contrast, there was an increase in the number of medium-sized and large-sized businesses between 2022 and 2023. There was also an increase in the number of abroad-owned businesses operating in Scotland
  • as at March 2023, there were 338,385 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland. SMEs provided an estimated 1.2 million jobs, which was 55.9% of private sector employment. SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses and 42.4% of private sector turnover as at March 2023


For enquiries about this publication please contact:

Marina Curran

Business & Innovation Statistics

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser


For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician


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