Report January 2022

We analyse Companies House “basic company data” up to the December 31st, 2021. We note less company registration relative to November 2021. The firm creation among active firms remains stronger than the same period in 2019.


  1. Business creation decreased 19.1% between November 2021 and December 2021.
  2. Business creation was 7.3% lower in December 2021 than in December 2020.
  3. The largest number of company registrations occurs in ‘Public administration and defence; compulsory social security’ and ‘Wholesale, and Retail Trade’.

Aggregate Analysis


The chart below shows the daily company incorporations in the UK since January 2020. The lockdown periods correspond to our key dates timeline.

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  • Business creation decreased by 19.1% between November and December 2021.
  • 21,429 additional companies were registered in December 2021 relative to December 2019.
  • 4,167 less company registrations are noticed in December 2021 relative to December 2020.
  • The median daily registrations were 52.6% higher in December 2021 than December 2019.

The chart below shows the rolling average of firm creation since January 2019. Shaded areas correspond to lockdown periods as shown our key dates timeline.

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Company registrations persistently exceed their 2019 levels. However, we notice a slowdown, which persists the last few months.

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Daily average company registrations in December 2021 are 7.3% lower than December 2020, but 67.6% higher than December 2019 among the active firms.

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Regional Analysis

Postcode Area

The map shows the average percentage change in new registrations in December 2021 compared to December 2019.


The following graph aggregates business creation by country. London, followed by Northern Ireland and Scotland, dominates business registrations.

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Within London, most of the business creation in December 2021 comes from South East, Central and East London.

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Sectoral Analysis

SIC Sections

The graph illustrates company registrations in December 2021 relative to 2019 by industrial sector. It compares the percentage change in 2021 relative to 2019 for each week of the year. We use 4-digit SIC levels (ONS “Classes”) and group them into broader sectors (ONS “Sections”). We use the ONS classification. We show a selection of sectors that present notable changes.

  • December 2021 retains higher firm creation in most sectors than December 2019.
  • ‘Public administration and defence; compulsory social security’ and ‘Wholesale, and Retail Trade’ sectors show the greatest increase in firm creation in December 2021.
  • Compared to December 2019, in December 2021 there is more than a 300% increase in business creation for ‘Retail sale of electrical household appliances in specialised stores’, ‘Other retail sale not in stores, stalls or markets’, ‘Regulation of the activities of providing health care, education, cultural services and other social services, excluding social security’ sectors.
  • There are lower registrations relative to December 2019 in ‘Warehousing and storage’, ‘Activities of holding companies’, ‘Accounting, bookkeeping and auditing activities; tax consultancy’ sectors.