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Businesses in Scotland 2015

Published: 3 Nov 2015 09:30

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland's business stock hits series high.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today released Businesses in Scotland 2015.

The main findings are:

There were 361,345 private sector businesses operating in Scotland as at March 2015 - the highest figure since the time series began in 2000.

Between March 2014 and March 2015, the estimated number of businesses increased by 26,090 - representing a rise of 7.8 per cent.

The increase over the latest year is driven by a rise in the number of unregistered businesses, the smallest sole traders and partnerships that are not registered for VAT/PAYE. Unregistered businesses are up by 13.2 per cent from 168,730 in 2014 to 191,010 in 2015.

The number of registered businesses has increased also - up by 2.3 per cent from 166,525 in 2014 to 170,335 in 2015. The number of registered businesses in Scotland is at its highest level in the series back to 2000.

As at March 2015, there were 359,050 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises operating in Scotland, providing an estimated 1.2 million jobs. SMEs accounted for 99.4 per cent of all private sector enterprises and accounted for 55.6 per cent of private sector employment and 39.4 per cent of private sector turnover.

The figures released today were produced in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

Notes to editors

Unregistered enterprises are micro businesses which consist of only a sole trader or partners. Unregistered enterprises do not employ others and have an annual turnover below the VAT threshold (£81,000 as at March 2015).

The estimates include businesses that operate in Scotland irrespective of whether their main UK base is in Scotland or elsewhere. Businesses are classified by employee size bands based on the number of their total UK employees.

The full statistical publication is available at

This publication contains statistics on the number of enterprises (businesses) operating in Scotland. Statistics are provided by industry, business size, local authority area, urban/rural area and country of ownership.

Further information on Business and Enterprise statistics within Scotland can be accessed at:

Official statistics are produced in accordance with professional standards – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: