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 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.

Current Publications and IDBR Tables

User Consultation

IDBR Background Information


Most recent documents

Contacts for Inter Departmental Business Register