Notwithstanding Coronavirus, the total number of companies in the UK increased in the first quarter of 2020 from 1st January to 31st March 2020. It remains to be seen what impact the Coronavirus and local, national and international lockdowns will have on the second quarter of 2020.
The transmission of coronavirus within the UK was first documented on 28th February 2020. On 11th March, the outbreak was declared a pandemic. On 15th March, the government announced that everyone should avoid all "non-essential" travel and contact with others, avoid crowds, and work from home, if possible. On 23rd March, the government imposed a lockdown on the whole UK population, banning all "non-essential" travel and contact with people outside one's home (including family and partners), and shutting almost all businesses, venues, facilities, amenities and places of worship.
According to the recently published UK Companies House statistics:
1. During the first quarter of 2020 there were 169,822 new company incorporations and 136,978 dissolutions in the UK. The number of dissolutions in the first quarter of 2020 is less than the first quarter of 2019. However, the number in liquidation or in the course of removal from the Companies Register is higher.
2. As at 31st December 2019, there were a total of 4,316,395 companies on the companies register. After adjusting that number, by deducting the number of companies in the course of dissolution or liquidation, there were a total of 4,024,259 on the effective register. Those numbers increased to 4,350,913 and 4,064,063 respectively by 31st March 2020.
3. Both the total and effective registers of companies in the UK have continued to increase in size at a steady rate since 2012, although this has slowed in recent years.
4. There were fewer company incorporations in the first quarter of 2020 than in the same period in 2019 although the numbers are not significantly different from those in the first quarter of each of 2016, 2017 or 2018.
5. Increases were seen in all constituent parts of the UK : England and Wales increased by 0.7%, Scotland by 0.8% and Northern Ireland by 1.2%.
6. The total number of public companies on the register continues to decline. On 31st December 2019 there were 5,478 public companies on the register, whereas by 31st March 2020 there were only 5,426. The numbers have been adjusted, by deducting the number of companies in the course of dissolution or liquidation from the actual number.
7. The total number of limited liability partnerships (LLPs) on the register continues to decline. On 31st December 2019 there were 48,689 LLPs on the register, whereas by 31st March 2020 there were only 48,571. The numbers have been adjusted, by deducting the number of companies in the course of dissolution or liquidation from the actual number.
Companies House statistics
Companies House produces quarterly reports about those companies newly incorporated to and removed from the register, and the total and effective register sizes amongst other matters. The total register size includes all companies on the companies register. The effective register size is the total register size less the number of companies in the course of dissolution or liquidation.
Information is provided for all UK incorporated entities, being companies (whether public or private) and LLPs.
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