Internet triggers rise of young firms on Companies House

Helen Cahill
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The internet has made it easier for entrepreneurs to set up companies (Source: Getty)

The internet has helped boost the proportion of young firms listed on Companies House, officials said today.

The average age of companies on Companies House has fallen from 10.7 years in 2000 to 8.3 years in 2017.

In a statistical release, Companies House said the decline in the age of companies was mirrored by an increase in the number of incorporations and dissolutions, meaning there was a greater number of younger firms on Companies House.

"The digital era in which we live may have led to a change in the profile of companies," Companies House said in its analysis. "Transacting electronically has considerably sped up the process of incorporating a company at relatively low cost."

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There has also been a change in the make-up of companies on the register; the number of private limited companies has been growing, and public limited companies have been declining in number.

As private limited companies tend to be younger, with an average age of five years compared to an average age of 13.6 years for public limited companies, this means the overall average age of companies has fallen.

The figures from Companies House also show the geographical spread of firms across the UK. The figures show the outsized number of businesses registered in England and Wales, where 3,639,818 of firms are located, or 99.7 per cent of all companies on the database.

The geographical spread of firms listed on Companies House (Source: Companies House)

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