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This is an archived section of the Scottish Government website. External links, forms and search may not work on archived pages and content/contact details are likely to be out of date.

This page relates to the 2007 version of the National Performance Framework. Information about the current version of the NPF is available on the Scotland Performs Home Page.

SP Two columns

Current Status

There were 36 new business registrations per 10,000 adults in 2010, the same rate as in 2006.

More on business start-up

National Indicator


Increase the business start-up rate

Scotland Performs - Business Start-Up

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Why is this National Indicator important?

New business formation is a good indicator of how conducive we are to entrepreneurship in the business environment. At the moment, however, we lag behind the UK. Small businesses are the lifeblood of local town centres and communities. That's why a fundamental aim of Government is to improve the business creation and growth of small businesses in Scotland.

The provision of good quality support and assistance will remain crucial to increasing new business formation and sustainable growth of enterprises. But, in the longer term, real improvements in our cultural approach to entrepreneurship and enterprise will provide the greatest and most long lasting benefits.

What will influence this National Indicator?

  • Business formation is determined by a number of factors, including:
  • General economic conditions: a stronger economy leads to a greater demand for products and services, providing opportunities for new enterprises to supply them. A strong and stable economy also increases optimism in the future and the chance of a new business succeeding.
  • Effective regulation: valuable and targeted regulation creates a more conducive business environment, making the start-up process simpler and more attractive to potential entrepreneurs.
  • Access to finance: new businesses require finance and investment to set up and commence trading. The relative availability of this finance will help determine the number of new starts.
  • Entrepreneurial attitude: the attitude of the Scottish population towards entrepreneurialism influences new business formation. The greater the spirit of entrepreneurialism, the more businesses will be started.

What is the Government's role?

Increasing sustainable economic growth is the Scottish Government's top priority and the actions we are taking will help enable more business start-ups - especially important in the current economic climate.

Enhancing the quality and focus of support for business and innovation will have a direct impact on our achievement of this indicator. The reforms to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the transfer of the Business Gateway contracts in the Scottish Enterprise area to Local Authorities and the extension of the Business Gateway service to Highlands and Islands Enterprise area will support and stimulate business creation, competitiveness, innovation and growth across Scotland.

Business Gateway provides a first stop access for all forms of business support including start-up training, business advice and details of financial support that may be available to support new businesses. The role being given to local government will ensure a more responsive, accessible and joined-up business development service. Not only will this increase the number of people setting up in business, it will also make business support more accessible at a local level.

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise will focus their support on the areas where they can have the most economic impact - investment and innovation by companies and sectors which have growth potential and are of national or regional significance.

How are we performing?

The latest figures show 36 new business registrations per 10,000 population in 2010, up from 34 per 10,000 population in 2009.

Business start-ups per 10,000 resident adults in Scotland, 2010

Source: Business Demography: Enterprise Births and Deaths, Office for National Statistics (ONS)

Note: The high 2007 figures may partly reflect the impact of changes in tax rules in April 2007 surrounding Managed Service Companies (MSC).

View data on business start-up


This evaluation is based on: any difference in the rate within +/- 3 per 10,000 population of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 3 per 10,000 population or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 3 per 10,000 population or more suggests the position is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Further Information

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

Who are our partners?

Local Authorities (lead role)

Scottish Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Related Strategic Objectives

Wealthier and Fairer

View National Indicator data

Downloadable document:

Data for National Indicator on Business start-upData for National Indicator on Business start-up [XLS, 30.0 kb: 12 Dec 2011]
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Performance Improving


Performance Maintaining


Performance Worsening

no info

Performance data currently being collected