More Scottish companies formed in 2020 than 2019 despite economic woes

Scotland saw an increase in the number of company formations last year despite the economic challenges resulting from the handling of the pandemic.

'Many of the new company formations are in the retail sector, with a large number of new businesses set up to sell goods online or locally, thereby taking advantage of customers’ changing shopping habits' - John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct.

Figures show that in terms of new companies, 34,280 were registered in 2020 compared to 33,843 during 2019. This brings the total number of registered companies in Scotland to 265,710, up from 255,464 at the end of 2019, which equates to 4 per cent growth.

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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According to the figures, Glasgow formed the greatest number of new businesses (7,293), followed by Edinburgh (5,068) and South Lanarkshire (2,186).

John Korchak, director of operations at Inform Direct, said: “It is excellent news to see that Scotland saw a successful year for business during 2020 despite the unprecedented uncertainties brought by Covid-19.

“Many of the new company formations are in the retail sector, with a large number of new businesses set up to sell goods online or locally, thereby taking advantage of customers’ changing shopping habits. Secondly, the effect of the pandemic and national lockdowns means that sadly some existing businesses have folded and employees made redundant, and we see many of those people setting up new ventures on their own as an alternative way to earn a living.

“2020 was a year like no other for business. Although we can look forward to a brighter future with the vaccination programme, there remain unknown factors such as how quickly the economy will recover and of course the impact of Brexit.”

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