The City of London is the best area in England to start a business, according to a new study.  

MRP software for small manufacturers MRPeasy analysed data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on business openings and closures in each UK local authority between 2022 and 2024. The figures were totalled for each area and ranked based on the highest ratio of openings to closures.   

Approximately 724,625 businesses opened in the UK from 2022 to 2024, while 800,165 closed during this time. On average, for every 10 businesses that open nationwide, 11 close down. England is the best nation in the UK to launch a business, with a slightly better ratio of openings to closures (0.912:1), while Northern Ireland ranks as the worst (0.808:1).  

The City of London topped the study as the best area in England to launch a business and second in the UK behind Torfaen. Over the last two years, 4,280 new companies have opened in the area, a significant increase from the 3,550 closures recorded during the same period. With the ratio of openings to closures at 1.206:1, business owners in the City of London are more likely to succeed than any other place in England. Six new businesses are formed in the area for every five business closures recorded. Between January and March of 2024, 495 businesses launched in the area, while 380 closed, giving the area a higher ratio of 1.303:1 in recent months.

The Isles of Scilly ranked second among England‘s best areas to launch a business. Despite smaller figures than any other area in the study, the Isles of Scilly have the second highest ratio of business openings to closures. Exactly 30 new businesses have opened their doors in the last two years, while 25 have closed, meaning the area ranks slightly behind the City of London with a ratio of 1.2:1. Five new businesses have been established in the region during the first quarter of 2024, and no existing companies have shut down.  

Stevenage ranks third in the list of the top English areas to start a business. Between Q1 of 2022 and Q1 of 2024, exactly 1,050 new businesses were registered in Stevenage, while 935 have officially closed. Around 10 new businesses open for every nine closures in the area, making it one of England‘s best areas to succeed with a business. July, August, and September of 2023 proved to be the best months for businesses in Stevenage, with reports of 125 openings and 85 closures at a rate of 1.471:1.  

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Kingston upon Hull is the fourth best area in England to launch a business. From 2022 to 2024, the area has seen 2,780 new businesses open and 2,545 close, with the ratio of openings to closures at 1.092:1. It is one of only 34 areas where business openings have been more common than closures in the last two years. In fact, 12 new businesses open their doors in Hull for every 11 closures. Since 2022, the ratio of openings to closures has dropped significantly in Hull from 2.339:1 in Q1 2022 to 1.075:1 in Q1 2024.  

Westminster rounds out the five best areas in England to launch a business, according to the study. Around 12 firms open for every 11 closures in the region, at a ratio of 1.091:1. Only Birmingham has had more business openings between 2022 and 2024 than Westminster, which registered 14,640 openings and 13,420 closures.  From January to March 2024 alone, 1,630 new businesses have launched in Westminster and 1,515 have closed, at a lower rate of 1.076:1.  

Nottingham ranked sixth among England’s best areas to establish a business. Since 2022, 3,175 businesses have opened in Nottingham, while 2,925 have closed. On average, 14 businesses are launched for every 13 closures in the area during this period. Q3 of 2023 was the most successful period for businesses in Nottingham over the last two years, with the ratio of openings to closures sitting at 1.471:1, 35.9% higher than the average ratio of 1.082:1.  

Harlow ranked seventh with a ratio of openings to closures of 1.076:1 between 2022 and 2024. Approximately 1,205 businesses have been established, and 1,120 closed during this period. On average, every time 14 firms close their doors in Harlow, 15 new businesses open. The first three months of 2024 have been the best period for businesses in the area, with 160 and 115 openings and closures registered, respectively, or 1.391:1.  

Businesses in the Blackburn with Darwen council area reside in England‘s eighth-best region for launching a business. Over the last two years, 1,730 companies have opened in the area, and 1,625 closures have been recorded, at a ratio of 1.065 openings for every closure. During Q1 of 2024, 215 businesses opened and 180 closed, resulting in a higher ratio of 1.194 compared to the average since 2022.  

Norwich places joint-ninth in the study of England’s best spots to start a business. Exactly 1,500 new businesses have been set up in Norwich since 2022. In contrast, 1,410 businesses shut down during the same period. Around 17 new businesses are built in Norwich for every 16 closures at a ratio of 1.064:1. Since Q1 of 2022, the ratio in Norwich has jumped by 32.98%.  

Burnley is the final area to be named among England’s best places to start a business, tied with Norwich for ninth place. Business openings have reached 835 over the last two years, 50 more than the total closures within the same period (785). The ratio of openings to closures is 1.064, one of the highest in the entire country.

Table: The best English areas to launch a business 

Ranking Location Total openings (2022-2024) Total closures (2022-2024) Ratio of openings to closures 
City of London 4,280 3,550 1.206 
Isles of Scilly 30 25 1.200 
Stevenage 1,050 935 1.123 
Kingston upon Hull City of 2,780 2,545 1.092 
Westminster 14,640 13,420 1.091 
Nottingham 3,175 2,935 1.082 
Harlow 1,205 1,120 1.076 
Blackburn with Darwen 1,730 1,625 1.065 
=9 Norwich 1,500 1,410 1.064 
=9 Burnley 835 785 1.064 

Wyre Forest is the worst area in England to start a business, with closures more than twice as common compared to openings in the region, at a ratio of 2.215:1.

Commenting on this, MRPeasy director of business development, Mike Lurye, said: “England is the best nation in the UK to start a business (0.912:1), having a higher ratio of openings to closures than Scotland (0.887:1), Wales (0.874:1), and Northern Ireland (0.808:1).  

“Just 9.39% of all UK local authorities have a higher rate of business openings than business closures in the last two years. Two areas of London and three spots in the East of England rank among the 10 best areas to start a business. Meanwhile, Clackmannanshire was Scotland’s highest-placed area in the study, at 21st, and Belfast was top in Northern Ireland, taking 29th spot.”