- The number of VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2023 is estimated to have risen by 350 (0.4%) since March 2022, to 79,235. This marked the ninth consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2008 to 2014.
- The number of businesses in Production has fallen over the year to March 2023 (75 or 1.4%), which is the first time this industry has seen a decline since 2013. The number of businesses in Services increased slightly by 0.3% (130), the smallest increase since 2015, whilst the number of businesses in Construction remained unchanged since 2022.
- The geographical spread of businesses across the 11 district council areas in Northern Ireland remained relatively unchanged, with Belfast having the highest number of businesses (11,300 or 14%) and, Antrim and Newtownabbey with the least number of businesses (4,220 or 5.3%).
- Of those businesses operating in Northern Ireland, 2.6% (2,065 businesses) were owned by an enterprise registered outside of Northern Ireland. These businesses accounted for almost one-quarter of employees. The number of non-locally-owned businesses operating in Northern Ireland has increased by a third over the 10 years since 2013. The comparable number of employees increased by 6.9%.
- Since 2013, the total number of registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland has increased by 17%. This increase was driven by a 19% increase in Services. However, within Services, Retail businesses declined by 3.5% (220), whilst Information and communication grew by 51% (735).
- The Business Demography Northern Ireland 2021 results estimate that 6,655 businesses were newly registered on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) in Northern Ireland over the 12 months to December 2021. This amounts to a birth rate (proportion of active businesses) of 10.3%.
- There were 5,200 business deaths in Northern Ireland in 2021, an increase of 24.6% on the previous year. The death rate increased by 1.3 pps over the year to 8.0%.
- The number of business births was greater than the number of deaths for all district council areas across Northern Ireland in 2021, except Antrim and Newtownabbey.
- Business birth and death rates were highest for the Transport and storage industry, and lowest in Health.
- Northern Ireland had the highest 5-year survival rate of the four UK regions for registered businesses in 2016.
Current Publications and IDBR Tables
- Northern Ireland Business; Activity, Size, Location and Ownership - Published 22nd June 2023
- Business Demography NI 2021 - Published 26th January 2023
IDBR Background Information