Insurance · 16 November 2017

Finance and property startups least likely to survive first year of trading

Survivial
Finance and insurance firms faced the most bleak outlook in terms of business survival

New analysis of Companies House data has confirmed the harsh environment entrepreneurs enter into when starting a business, with almost 40,000 companies failing to pass their first year of trading since 2007.

After assessing data of businesses incorporated in the past decade, company formation agency Turner Little uncovered how many went into liquidation, administration or had a proposal to be struck from the register in the same year of foundation.

Providing an overall picture of the years between 2007 and 2016, a total of 39,674 companies went into liquidation – the legal ending of a business – in the same year they were founded, having failed to either grapple financial planning or the strength of competition.

In the same period, 1,401 firms went into administration in their first year, handing over legal ownership of the company to an insolvency practitioner.

Curiously, the financial crash did not dampen the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit. From 2010, the number of incorporated companies increased year-on-year, with 2012 seeing the most new businesses.

The most risky year to start a business appeared to be 2015, which saw the highest liquidation rate of the timeframe.

Read more: The difference between insolvency, liquidation, bankruptcy and administration

Turner Little analysed CreditHQ data to find out how different industries fared in terms of first-year survival rates

Industry Rate of survival after first year 
Information and Communication 93.8 per cent
Retail 92.9 per cent
Professional, scientific and technical 92.9 per cent
Motor Trades 92.7 per cent
Education 92.6 per cent
Wholesale 92.6 per cent
Health 92.1 per cent
Transport and Storage 92 per cent
Accommodation and Food Services 91.3 per cent
Arts, entertainment & recreation 90.3 per cent
Production 90.1 per cent
Construction 90 per cent
Business admin & support services 86.4 per cent
Property 85 per cent
Finance and Insurance 83.2 per cent

Commenting on the findings, James Turner, managing director of Turner Little, elaborated on some of the unexpected challenges of entrepreneurship.

“Setting up a company requires a lot of patience and commitment. People often underestimate the constant hardship, instead the expectation tends to revolve around instant results and success.

“This does not tend to be the case, especially in the first few years. During the inception period, a company needs to ensure every aspect of its operations are evolving and adapting to the changes around them on the micro as well as macro level to ensure growth and sustainability”.

Turner Little produced the below infographic to demonstrate the consistent drop-off rates for incorporated companies in the last decade

turner-little-business-success-failure-infographic

Find out why startup survival rates are higher in Britain’s most remote areas

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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