The latest Northern Ireland business; activity, size, location and ownership, 2022 statistics have been released by NISRA.
These statistics are sourced from the Northern Ireland Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR), and the key points are listed below.
The number of businesses operating in Northern Ireland increased by 1.6% over the year to March 2022.
- The number of VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses operating in Northern Ireland is estimated to have risen by 1,245 (1.6%) to 78,885. This marked the eighth consecutive year of increase following a period of decline from 2008 to 2014.
The majority of businesses in Northern Ireland were micro-businesses.
- In March 2022, the majority of businesses (89%, 70,510) in Northern Ireland were micro-businesses (less than 10 employees). Just over 2% (1,640) of businesses had 50 or more employees.
- Almost half of businesses in Northern Ireland (45% or 35,415) had a turnover of less than Pound 100,000, whilst 10% (8,220) had a turnover in excess of Pound 1 million.
Construction, Production, and Services all saw an increase on 2021, the seventh consecutive year of growth for all 3 sectors.
- The Service sector, which remained the largest in Northern Ireland, accounted for 56% of all businesses and grew by 1.5% over the year to March 2022. Within the Service sector, Accommodation and food services businesses witnessed the largest increase on the previous year (225 businesses or 5.3%).
- The number of businesses in the Construction sector reached an 11-year high (11,195 businesses) but remained 2.6% below the series high figure of (11,495) in 2010.
The geographic split of businesses across the 11 district council areas remained relatively unchanged, with only Antrim and Newtownabbey (-1.0%) experiencing a decrease in its business population.
- Of the 1,245 newly registered businesses in Northern Ireland, 325 (26%) were in Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon and a further 210 (17%) were in Mid Ulster.
- Belfast remained the district council area with the most businesses (11,405), accounting for 14% of all VAT and/or PAYE registered businesses in Northern Ireland in 2022. The most recent Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) 2020 showed that 30% of all employee jobs across Northern Ireland were based in the Belfast District Council area. Further details on the BRES can be found on the NISRA website at https://www.nisra.gov.uk/statistics/annual-employee-jobs-surveys/business-register-and-employment-survey
Of the 78,885 businesses operating in Northern Ireland 1,995 (2.5%) were non-NI owned.
- Non-NI owned businesses accounted for 2.5% of the business population and almost one-quarter (23%) of employees.
- The number of businesses operating in Northern Ireland owned by an enterprise registered outside of Northern Ireland increased by just over a fifth (22% or 360) over the five years to 2022. The total number of employees working within these enterprises increased slightly (0.4% or 740) over the same period.