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 VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2020 is estimated to have risen by 600 (0.8%) since 2019 to 76,090.  This marked the sixth consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2008 to 2014 and is the lowest annual increase since 2015.
  • Construction, Services and Production (which includes Manufacturing, Electricity, and Water Supply) saw an increase in the number of businesses over the year by 0.3%, 1.6% and 2.3% respectively.  This was the fifth consecutive year in which the annual percentage change had increased for these sectors.
  • The number of Construction businesses saw a decline of 8.3% (-950) over the 10 years since 2010 while the Services and Production sectors saw substantial increases, of 12% and 20%, respectively, over the same period. 
  • The geographical spread of businesses across the eleven district council areas in Northern Ireland remained relatively unchanged.  Of the overall annual growth, 60% was in Belfast, with a further 26% in Lisburn and Castlereagh.
  • The number of businesses registered in an EU member state (excluding the Republic of Ireland) operating in Northern Ireland fell by 21% (55 businesses) over the year to March, 2020.  The number of businesses operating in Northern Ireland from countries outside of Great Britain and the EU increased by 18% (85 businesses) over the year, while the number of Republic of Ireland owned businesses increased by 4.2% (15 businesses).
  • The Business Demography Northern Ireland 2019 results estimate that a total of 6,625 businesses were newly registered on the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) in Northern Ireland over the year to December 2019. This amounts to a birth rate (proportion of active businesses) of 10.4%.
  • Estimates show that there were 5,765 business deaths (businesses deregistered from the IDBR) in Northern Ireland over the year to December 2019. This is an increase of 1,385 businesses on the previous year and amounts to a death rate of 9.0%.
  • Northern Ireland births and deaths each account for 1.7% of the total UK births and deaths.

Current Publications and IDBR Tables

User Consultation

IDBR Background Information


Most recent documents

Contacts for Inter Departmental Business Register