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At the beginning of 2022, there were approximately 65,800 private sector businesses in Buckinghamshire. More than half of these businesses (approximately 34,600) had no employees and were not registered for VAT / PAYE. There were 31,200 private sector VAT/PAYE registered businesses in Buckinghamshire in 2022.

The vast majority of VAT/PAYE enterprises in Buckinghamshire are micro in size (employing fewer than 10 people). Buckinghamshire has the highest proportion of micro firms of all 38 LEP areas.

Data from 2020 shows that whilst only 0.3% of businesses in Buckinghamshire are large, they provide 41% of employee jobs in the local economy. Nationally, 54% of jobs are in large firms.

Approximately one in five businesses in Buckinghamshire operates in the ‘professional, scientific and technical’ sector, a higher proportion than nationally. This sector includes businesses such as law firms, accounting firms, and engineering companies.

Buckinghamshire has a higher proportion of businesses operating in the ‘information and communication’ sector than the national average. This sector includes computer programming and consultancy firms, and motion picture, video and TV companies. 11% of Buckinghamshire’s VAT/PAYE registered businesses operate in this sector, compared with the national average of 8%.

Over the last decade, the ‘construction’, ‘business administration & support services’, and ‘information & communication’ sectors have seen the greatest increase in business numbers in Buckinghamshire. Whilst there have been small drops in the number of ‘arts’ and ‘wholesale’ businesses over this time period.

Between 2021 and 2022, the ‘retail’ and ‘construction’ sectors saw the greatest increase in business numbers, likely to be driven by the accelerated trend towards online retailing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, large infrastructure projects such as HS2, East West Rail and the extensive house building programme in and around Aylesbury.

The professional, scientific and technical sector along with information and communication sector saw a large decrease in the number of businesses between 2021 and 2022. This could be related to IR35 tax changes.

Download our Buckinghamshire Businesses 2023 report for more details.

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