New registered start-ups increased by 23.9 per cent in 2013, largely driven by growth in the number of small enterprises.
Growth continued in 2014 when the total number of registered businesses in Scotland grew by 4 per cent.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Business Minister Fergus Ewing said the figures were “encouraging” and called on people to continue to support local shops in 2015.
Edinburgh had the greatest increase in small businesses between 2013 and 2014, up 880, followed by Glasgow with a rise of 755.
Small firms offering administrative and support services grew by 9.9 per cent, followed by the professional, scientific and technical sector, which increased by 9.6 per cent.
Mr Ewing said: “The number of registered business start-ups in Scotland increased by 23.9 per cent from 17,385 to 21,540 between 2012 and 2013, this takes us to the highest level in the series back to 2004.
“Supporting your local economy is an important way to keep communities alive - and we are absolutely committed to creating a thriving network of local communities all over Scotland.
“The Scottish Government offers a range of support for small and medium enterprises, starting with Business Gateway and our enterprise agencies.
“Two in five premises have benefited from the Small Business Bonus Scheme this year, and our nearly 329,000 small businesses in Scotland provides 42 per cent of private sector jobs, so it is hugely important.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS