Report September 2021

In a nutshell

We analyse Companies House “basic company data” up to the August 31st, 2021. We note a slowdown in company registration relative to August 2020. However, firm creation remains stronger than the same month in 2019.


  1. Business creation decreased 1.18% between July 2021 and August 2021.
  2. Business creation was 12.1% lower in August 2021 than in August 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 August 2021, ‘Financial and insurance 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 decreased by 1.18% between July and August 2021.
  • 19,104 additional companies were registered in August 2021 relative to August 2019.
  • 7,998 less company registrations are noticed in August 2021 relative to August 2020.
  • The median daily registrations were 45.4% higher in August 2021 than August 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 previous month, in August 2021 relative to August 2020. However, the August 2021 slowdown is smaller than the July 2021 one.

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Daily average company registrations in August 2021 are 13.16% lower than August 2020, but 45% higher than August 2019.

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Regional Analysis

Postcode Area

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


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

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

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Sectoral Analysis

SIC Sections

The graph illustrates company registrations in August 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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  • August 2021 retains higher firm creation in most sectors than August 2019.
  • `Transportation and storage’ and ‘Wholesale, and Retail Trade’ sectors show the greatest increase in firm creation in August 2021.
  • Towards the end of August 2021, ‘Financial and insurance activities’ sector presents an increase.
  • Compared to August 2019, in August 2021 there is more than a 300% increase in business creation for ‘Repair of communication equipment’, ‘Water collection, treatment and supply’, ‘Camping grounds, recreational vehicle parks and trailer parks’ and ‘Event catering activities' sectors.
  • There are lower registrations relative to August 2019 in ‘Construction of railways and underground railways’, ‘Wholesale of other intermediate products’ and ‘Activities of head offices’.