Business development · 14 February 2018

Entrepreneurial couples now co-own more than 1.4m UK businesses

Businesses owned by couples are likely to increase in number
The number of people going into business with their better half is on the rise in Britain, research into entrepreneurial couples has revealed.

This Valentine’s Day, a new study has found that around 1.4m UK companies are now run by couples. This figure is likely to increase a record 11 per cent of workers now intend to launch a new business within the next year, many of which will be with their partner.

The FreeAgent research into the rise of entrepreneurial couples found that women benefit most from starting a business with their partner.

According to the study, women earn around 27 per cent more on average after launching a venture with their other half. In relationships where only one partner is an entrepreneur, women were found to earn 33 per cent less than those in entrepreneurial couples.

FreeAgent’s CEO and co-founder, Ed Molyneux, said that while it’s not a decision to jump into lightly, starting a business with your partner could be a hugely rewarding career move for many.

He added: Running a business together is potentially a great move for couples to make with their careers. It offers people the flexibility to co-ordinate work around family commitments, share their passion with their other half and have all of your household and business finances in one place.

The growing number of entrepreneurial couples in Britain is part of the wider trend towards more family-owned businesses. The study found that there are now 4.7m family-run businesses in the UK, of which 1.4m are run by couples.


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Molyneux went on to say: it’s clear that a significant number of working Brits are considering taking this leap into self-employment in 2018.

for open-minded couples looking to make a change this year, you could enjoy significant benefits from starting a business with your partner.

Three entrepreneurial couples reveal what it’s like to work with your partner ?

Husband and wife team Justin and Sadie married in 2003 and have two children. They went into business together in 2007, co-running web design company Glassraven. In 2010, the family relocated to the countryside town of Sennen, in Cornwall.

Sadie said that co-owning a business with Justin had given them greater flexibility, both in terms of where they wanted their family life and where their business was located.



Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.