Report November 2021

In a nutshell

We analyse Companies House “basic company data” up to the October 31st, 2021. We note a slowdown in company registration relative to September 2021. However, firm creation among active firms remains stronger than the same period in 2019.


  1. Business creation decreased 1.8% between September 2021 and October 2021.
  2. Business creation was 13.4% lower in October 2021 than in October 2020.
  3. The largest number of company registrations occurs in ‘Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’ and ‘Manufacturing’.

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 1.8% between September and October 2021.
  • 17,081 additional companies were registered in September 2021 relative to September 2019.
  • 9,744 less company registrations are noticed in October 2021 relative to October 2020.
  • The median daily registrations were 36.67% higher in October 2021 than October 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 October 2021 are 13.4% lower than October 2020, but 37.3% higher than October 2019 among the active firms.

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Regional Analysis

Postcode Area

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


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

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Within London, most of the business creation in October 2021 comes from Central and North London.

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Sectoral Analysis

SIC Sections

The graph illustrates company registrations in October 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.

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  • October 2021 retains higher firm creation in most sectors than October 2019.
  • ‘Wholesale, and Retail Trade’, ‘Manufacturing’ and ‘Financial and insurance activities’ sectors show the greatest increase in firm creation in October 2021.
  • Compared to October 2019, in October 2021 there is more than a 300% increase in business creation for ‘Reproduction of recorded media’, ‘Operation of dairies and cheese making’, Combined office administrative service activities' and ‘Administration of financial markets' sectors.
  • There are lower registrations relative to October 2019 in ‘Warehousing and storage', ‘Service activities incidental to land transportation’ and ‘Tour operator activities'.