What do these statistics cover?
The ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication provides information on the number of enterprises (businesses) operating in Scotland. The main purpose of the publication is to provide an estimate of Scotland’s business stock.
Within the publication the Scottish business stock is broken down by various dimensions including industry, business size, local authority area, urban/rural area and country of ownership. The publication includes all enterprises that operate in Scotland regardless of where the business is based.
The focus of the publication is on private sector enterprises, where the private sector is defined as including the following enterprise types:
- Companies (including Building Societies)
- Sole Proprietors
- Public Corporations/Nationalised Bodies
- Non-profit making bodies and mutual associations
Data is also provided on enterprises' employment and turnover. However, please note that there are time lags associated with the employment and turnover variables.
What are the statistics used for?
Statistics from the ‘Businesses in Scotland’ publication are used to provide insight into the characteristics of Scotland’s business stock, and how Scotland’s business stock has changed over time. The data are used to inform decision making and performance monitoring – both inside and outside government. More information on uses can be found in the on-line Businesses in Scotland Data Sources, Suitability and Uses Note.
What year do tables relate to?
The latest figures relate to March 2013 and were released on 30th October 2013.
The 2011 and 2012 publications introduced several methodological changes:
- All data are now published using the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) 2007 only.
- In 2011 a number of changes were made to the methodology used to estimate the number of unregistered enterprises. See the Methodology section of the website for more details.
- In 2012 improvements to HMRC computer systems led to previously excluded businesses being added to the IDBR. For Scotland, this resulted in 2,340 extra enterprises being added to the IDBR in 2012; these extra enterprises should have been included in previous years also.
The latest 2013 publication tables on the website are consistent for the years 2010 to 2013 i.e. all 3 methodological changes above have been applied back to 2010.
Older tables, available in the Tables Archive, have not been updated to reflect the 3 methodological changes and are therefore not consistent with the latest tables for 2010 to 2013.
However, a high level Time Series for total (registered and unregistered) enterprises and registered enterprises has been constructed for 2000 to 2013. This long time series has been produced on a consistent basis as far as possible.
When will the figures be updated?
It is the aim to publish the Businesses in Scotland 2014 as soon as possible after the release of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) UK Business Activity and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS) Business Population Estimates for the UK and Regions publications, which are due out in Autumn 2014.