Inter Departmental Business Register

Details and background of the IDBR, which contains information on all businesses in the UK which are VAT registered or operating a PAYE scheme.

Key Results 

  • The number of Value Added Tax (VAT) and/or Pay As You Earn (PAYE) registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2019 was estimated to have risen by 1,430 (1.9%) since 2018 to 75,490.  This marked the fourth consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2008 to 2014.
  • The largest increases in the number of businesses over the year were in the construction (300 businesses) and agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (235).
  • All District Council areas in Northern Ireland saw an increase in the number of businesses.  Derry City and Strabane saw the largest increase in percentage terms (2.7%) whilst Newry, Mourne and Down saw the largest actual increase with 225 more businesses, which amounts to an increase of 2.6%.  Antrim and Newtownabbey saw the smallest growth (70 businesses).
  • Of the 75,490 businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2019, 2.5% were non-Northern Ireland owned.  However, these businesses accounted for almost one quarter (24%) of employees.
  • The Business Demography Northern Ireland 2018 results estimate that a total of 5,900 businesses were newly registered on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) in Northern Ireland over the year to December 2018. This amounts to a birth rate (proportion of active businesses) of 9.6%.
  • Estimates show that there were 4,855 business deaths (businesses deregistered from the IDBR) in Northern Ireland over the year to December 2018. This is a decrease of 10 businesses on the previous year and amounts to a death rate of 7.9%.
  • Northern Ireland births and deaths account for 1.6% and 1.4% respectively of the total UK births and deaths.

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IDBR background information

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