NI Inter Departmental Business Register Statistics 2018

Date published: 18 December 2018

NISRA today publish NI Inter Departmental Business Register Statistics 2018.

NI Inter Departmental Business Register Statistics 2018

Key Points

1. At 9.30 am on Tuesday 18 December, the 2018 Northern Ireland Inter Departmental Business Register (IDBR) statistics were released to the public. Corresponding figures for the whole of the UK were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on 3 October 2018.  These show that Northern Ireland businesses account for almost 3 per cent of businesses in the UK. The ONS report is available on its website.

2. The IDBR is a register of all businesses that are registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or operating a Pay As You Earn (PAYE) scheme in the UK. The IDBR covers most of the economy including the Agriculture, Production and Service sectors.  It does not hold details on those very small businesses that fall below the VAT threshold (£85,000 in 2017/2018) or do not operate a PAYE scheme.  

3. A snapshot of the IDBR is taken each year to produce statistics on the number of businesses by industry and location. These statistics are presented in the Northern Ireland IDBR report and associated tables alongside business demography and foreign ownership data. The ONS produce business demography (births, deaths and survival) data by analysing individual business records from one year to the next.   Information on foreign owned businesses operating in the UK are obtained by the ONS from the market information company Dun and Bradstreet. 

Key points from the statistical bulletin are listed below.

The number of businesses operating in Northern Ireland increased by 3.4% over the year to March 2018

4. The number of VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland is estimated to have risen by 2,445 (3.4%) to 74,060.  This marked the fourth consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2009 to 2014.

Construction and Agriculture, forestry and fishing saw the largest growth

5. The largest increases in the number of businesses since 2017 were in Construction (535 or 6 per cent) and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (440 or 2 per cent).

6. The number of businesses in the Construction industry has increased for three consecutive years. However, the number of Construction businesses in 2018 (10,215) remains 17 per cent below the 2009 figure (12,270).

All District Council areas saw an increase in the number of businesses over the year to 2018

7. All District Council areas experienced growth from 2017 to 2018. Newry, Mourne and Down saw the largest increase with 410 more businesses, amounting to a growth of 5.1 per cent.

8. Belfast remained the District Council area with the most businesses (10,560), accounting for 14 per cent of all VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses in Northern Ireland in 2018. The most recent Business Register and Employment Survey showed that 30 per cent of all employee jobs across Northern Ireland were based in the Belfast District Council area.

There were 6,855 business births in Northern Ireland in 2017, an increase of 16 per cent on the previous year

9. The business birth rate (business births as a proportion of active businesses) in Northern Ireland was 11 per cent in 2017. This marks the fifth time in the previous six years that the rate has grown.

10. There were 4,940 business deaths in Northern Ireland in 2017.  This amounts to a death rate (business deaths as a proportion of active businesses) of 8.2 per cent marking the third consecutive year of growth.

11. The Northern Ireland birth rate remains the lowest of the 4 UK countries (Wales 14 per cent, England 13 per cent, Scotland 12 per cent and Northern Ireland 11 per cent). However, growth in the Northern Ireland birth rate over the previous six years has reduced the gap with England, and Scotland to less than two percentage points.

12. Northern Ireland continues to have the lowest death rate across the UK.  Death rates across all 4 UK regions have increased over the year (England 12 per cent, Scotland 11 per cent, Wales 10 per cent and Northern Ireland 8.2 per cent).                                              

Of the 74,060 businesses operating in Northern Ireland 1,790 (2.4 per cent) were non-NI owned

13. Non-Northern Ireland owned businesses accounted for 2.4 per cent of the business population and almost one quarter (24 per cent) of employees.

14. Of the 1,785 non-Northern Ireland owned businesses operating in Northern Ireland the largest proportion (43 per cent) were Great Britain owned whilst 19 per cent were Republic of Ireland and 11 per cent United States of America owned.

Upcoming Releases

15. The Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch will release the following publications in January 2019:

  • Northern Ireland Ports Traffic on 19 December
  • Northern Ireland Composite Economic Index on 17 January
  • Construction Output Statistics on 17 January
  • Labour Market Report on 22 January

A separate briefing will be issued, on the day of publication, for each of these releases.

 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The IDBR contains information on all businesses in the United Kingdom which are either VAT registered or operating a PAYE scheme. The register is located in the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Newport, Wales but the Northern Ireland element of the register is updated and maintained by the Economic and Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMSB) within the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), an agency of the Department of Finance (DoF).
  2. The IDBR covers most of the economy including the Agriculture, Production and Service sectors in Northern Ireland. It does not, however, include very small businesses which fall below the VAT threshold (£85,000 in 2017/2018) or do not operate a PAYE scheme. This means that many self-employed workers will not be included on the IDBR. Latest figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), which include an estimate of the number of unregistered businesses in the private sector, indicate that at the start of 2018 the number of unregistered businesses in Northern Ireland was 63,275 (64,695 in 2017).
  3. The full Northern Ireland Inter Departmental Business Register Statistics report is available on the NISRA website.
  4. For media enquiries, please contact DfE Press Office on 028 9052 9604. Outside office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.
  5. Feedback is welcomed and should be addressed to:
Responsible statistician:
Neil Mulhern,
Economic & Labour Market Statistics Branch (ELMS)

neil.mulhern@nisra.gov.uk or Tel: 028 90255196.

  1. Follow ELMS on Twitter - @ELMSNISRA

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