Biz Counts

Last updated 23 November 2017

There were 393 businesses per 10,000 adults in 2017, compared to the 2016 rate of 388 businesses per 10,000 adults.



An increase in the business stock is a good indicator of an active entrepreneurship climate in the economy. Also, competition drives innovation, efficiency and quality improvements thereby improving productivity. The number of businesses in Scotland (stock) reflects a combination of both the numbers of new businesses created (start-ups) and the survival of existing businesses. Scotland has a low level of business stock relative to its population size, when compared to the rest of the UK. A strong and diverse private sector is essential for sustainable economic growth.


The indicator measures the total number of VAT/PAYE registered private sector enterprises operating in Scotland per 10,000 adults. The figure includes all private sector registered enterprises that operate in Scotland regardless of where the business is based. Criteria for dashboard recent performance colour: The evaluation is based on: any difference within +/- 4 businesses per 10,000 adults suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. An increase of 4 businesses per 10,000 adults or more suggests the position is improving; whereas a decrease of 4 businesses per 10,000 adults or more suggests the position is worsening.


This indicator uses the registered enterprise count, as published in the Businesses in Scotland publication: The Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) provides the number of enterprises registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) in Scotland. An IDBR extract from March each year is taken to derive the count of registered enterprises operating in Scotland. The population estimates used to form the rates are sourced from the Mid-Year Population Estimates, published by the National Records of Scotland:


The total number of registered private sector enterprises in Scotland per 10,000 adults, 2007 to 2016

*2016 business stock is calculated based upon the 2015 resident adult population

Download the Business Counts Chart Data

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