Report October 2021

In a nutshell

We analyse Companies House “basic company data” up to the September 30th, 2021. We note a slowdown in company registration relative to September 2021. However, firm creation among active firms remains stronger than the same month in 2019.


  1. Business creation increased 9.8% between August 2021 and September 2021.
  2. Business creation was 9.5% lower in September 2021 than in September 2020.
  3. The largest number of company registrations occurs in ‘Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles’ and ‘Transportation and storage’. Closer to the end of September 2021, ‘Administrative and support service activities’ present an increase.

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 increased by 9.81% between August and September 2021.
  • 22,101 additional companies were registered in September 2021 relative to September 2019.
  • 6,763 less company registrations are noticed in September 2021 relative to September 2020.
  • The median daily registrations were 48.3% higher in September 2021 than September 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. This effect is strong regardless the third national lockdown. However, we notice a slowdown, which continues from the last few months, in September 2021 relative to September 2020. However, the September 2021 slowdown is smaller than the August 2021 one.

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Daily average company registrations in September 2021 are 9.56% lower than September 2020, but 52% higher than August 2019 among the active firms.

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Regional Analysis

Postcode Area

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


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

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

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Sectoral Analysis

SIC Sections

The graph illustrates company registrations in September 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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  • September 2021 retains higher firm creation in most sectors than September 2019.
  • `Transportation and storage’, ‘Wholesale, and Retail Trade’ and ‘Construction’ sectors show the greatest increase in firm creation in September 2021.
  • Towards the end of September 2021, ‘Administrative and support service activities’ sector presents an increase.
  • Compared to September 2019, in September 2021 there is more than a 300% increase in business creation for ‘Event catering activities’, ‘General public administration activities’, ‘Retail sale of music and video recordings in specialised stores’ and ‘Wholesale of other intermediate products' sectors.
  • There are lower registrations relative to September 2019 in ‘Activities of business and employers membership organisations’, ‘Tour operator activities’ and ‘Construction of railways and underground railways’.