NI reports successful year for business

Latest statistics show that Northern Ireland saw a substantial increase in the number of registered companies during 2020 – despite the considerable challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Sunday, 21st February 2021, 6:00 am
John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct

This total number grew to 70,199, up from 66,395 at the end of 2019, which equates to 5.7% growth (3, 804).

However whilst the total number of Northern Ireland businesses grew, there was a small fall in terms of new company formations – 8,477 compared to 8,657 in 2019 (down by 180 firms).

The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of Company Formations using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

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The figures also revealed that Belfast formed the most new businesses (2,122), followed by Newry, Mourne and Down (1,268) and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (763).

Praising the recent statistics, John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct also highlighted that there was a slight fall in new company formations.

He said: “These figures demonstrate strong growth for the number of registered businesses in Northern Ireland, despite the unprecedented uncertainties brought by Covid-19.

“The slight fall in new company formations underlines how challenging 2020 was for business, resulting in a less conducive environment for entrepreneurs.”

However in the UK as a whole, a record number of new companies were formed – 780,766 compared to 690,763 in 2019, which represents an increase of 13%. The overall number of UK companies also reached a record high, growing to 4,837,426, an 8.2% increase on the total of 4,471,008 at the end of 2019.

Of the 697,446 formations in England, over one third (270,114) were in London. 34,280 companies were formed in Scotland and 19,601 in Wales.

The number of company dissolutions across the UK – 418,427 during 2020 – was the lowest since 2015. It remains open to debate whether this positive trend will last, especially when Government support for businesses is withdrawn. New enterprises set up during the pandemic might also be short-lived, as people return to full-time employment or struggle to take the business to the next level.

To see a more detailed picture of company formations in Northern Ireland – including a full local breakdown, visit:

To see the report in full visit:

Inform Direct is a company secretarial and formation specialist. Its award-winning company secretarial and formations software currently supports more than 175,000 UK companies.

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