Business demography

Summary

VAT/PAYE registered businesses in 2015

In 2015, there were nearly 2.7 million active VAT and/or PAYE registered enterprises in the United Kingdom, of which 259,740 (9.7%) were in the North West. The Lancashire-14 area accounted for 20.2% of the regional total with 52,350 active enterprises.

Preston had the largest number (5,290) in the Lancashire-14 area; Hyndburn (2,385) had the lowest.

There were 58 business registered for VAT/PAYE per 1,000 persons aged 18 to 74 in the UK, 51.2 businesses in the North West and 50.4 in the Lancashire-14 area.

Ribble Valley (73.6) had by far the greatest number of VAT/PAYE registered businesses per 1,000 population aged 18 to 74 in the Lancashire-14 area, whilst Hyndburn (42.9), Lancaster (42.5) and Blackpool (42.4) had the lowest.

VAT/PAYE business births in 2015

The business birth rate in the Lancashire-14 area at 12.2% (6,370 enterprise births) in 2015 was lower than the UK (14.3%) and the North West region (14.1%).

Within the Lancashire-14 area, only Blackburn with Darwen (14.4%) had a rate greater than the UK. Ribble Valley had the lowest (9.7%) in the area.

All of the authorities in the Lancashire-14 area recorded more active enterprise births than deaths in 2015 with Preston (705) and Blackburn with Darwen (695) recording the largest number of business births in the area.

The business birth rate per 1,000 population aged 18 to 74 for the Lancashire-14 area in 2015 of 6.1 was lower than the UK rate of 8.3 and 7.2 in the North West.

Within the Lancashire-14 area, none of the business birth rates per 1,000 population aged 18 to 74 were greater than the UK average (8.3). Fylde (7.5) had the highest rate. Hyndburn (5.0) and Lancaster (4.8) recorded the lowest.

VAT/PAYE registered business deaths in 2015

The business death rate of 9.3% for the Lancashire-14 area in 2015 was fractionally lower than the UK average (9.4%) and lower than the regional rate (9.9%).

Within the Lancashire-14 area the business death rates were greater than the UK average in Blackpool (11.9%), Chorley (10.7%), West Lancashire (10.2%), Blackburn with Darwen (9.7%) and Preston (9.5%). The lowest business death rate in the Lancashire-14 area was recorded in Lancaster (8.0%).

The business death rate per 1,000 population aged 18 to 74 for the Lancashire-14 area in 2015 of 4.7 was lower than the rates for the UK (5.5) and the North West (5.1).

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Ribble Valley (6.1), Chorley (5.9) and West Lancashire (5.6) had business death rates per 1,000 population aged 18 to 74 that were greater than the UK average (5.5), whilst Pendle (3.8) and Lancaster (3.4) had the lowest.

Change in VAT/PAYE registered businesses from 2010 to 2015

The percentage increase in the number of VAT/PAYE registered enterprises in the Lancashire-14 area of 2.7% (1,370 businesses) was much lower than those in the UK of 13.6% (320,600 businesses) and the North West of 11.1% (26,005 businesses).

Within the Lancashire-14 area, Chorley (8.3%, 345 businesses), Blackburn with Darwen (7.8%, 350 businesses) and Burnley (7.8%, 195 businesses) saw the greatest percentage increases between 2010 and 2015.

Five authorities within the Lancashire-14 area recorded reductions in the number of businesses between 2010 and 2015. Blackpool saw the greatest fall (-160 businesses, -3.7%), followed by Hyndburn (-60 businesses, -2.5%), Lancaster (-40 businesses, -0.9%), Fylde (-25 businesses, -0.7%) and Rossendale (-15 businesses, -0.6%).

Yearly change in VAT/PAYE registered businesses, 2014 to 2015

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of VAT/PAYE registered enterprises in the UK rose by 4.7% (121,135 businesses). This was more than double pace of increase in the Lancashire-14 area (2.3%, 1,180).

All of the authorities within the Lancashire-14 area recorded increases in the number of VAT/PAYE registered businesses between 2014 and 2015. West Lancashire (4.8%, 200 enterprises) was the only Lancashire-14 authority that saw the number rise by a greater percentage than the UK (4.7%), although Chorley (4.7%, 200 businesses) recorded the same percentage increase as the UK. Lancaster (0.8%, 35 businesses) recorded the lowest percentage rise, whilst Rossendale (25 businesses, 1.0%) saw the smallest numeric increase in the number of businesses over the year.

VAT/PAYE registered business survival rates for those enterprises born in 2010

After only five years, more than half of the active enterprises born in 2010 had ceased to exist. At the UK level, only 41.4% of enterprises born in 2010 were still active after five years. The rate was slightly lower in the Lancashire-14 area (40.3%).

In the Lancashire-14 area, Blackpool (35.2%) had a particularly poor five-year survival rate. In contrast, Ribble Valley's rate (47.0%) was well in excess of the UK average.

Coastal resorts such as Blackpool, can have a tendency to attract enterprises that follow the patterns of seasonal trade, which leads to high rates of business creation but low survival rates. High business churn rates can also be a sign of greater levels of entrepreneurship within an area.

Further analysis

Business demography for VAT and pay as you earn (PAYE) registered businesses, 2015 (PDF 1,292 KB)

Page updated January 2017