According to our latest records (as of May 2022), there are more than 7.37M companies registered in the United Kingdom. 41.4% of those operate in services and 14.26% in retail. 16.4% of all UK companies are based in London.
The majority of companies doing business in the United Kingdom have a legal form of corporations (65.1%) and proprietorships (12.8%).
UK: Distribution of companies by legal form
|Partnership Of Unknown Type||4.14%|
|Non Profit Organization||0.03%|
43.8% of all UK-based corporations and 42.5% of proprietorships operate in services. In the case of corporations, the second most represented industry is finance, insurance, and real estate (17.6%) with retail (12.5%) in the third place. Among proprietorships, retail is second (23.8%), and construction is third (11.1%).
UK: Distribution of corporations and proprietorships by industry
|Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate||848,302||28,693|
|Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services||248,285||44,904|
|Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing||60,294||50,152|
The most represented SIC Code among corporations is business services (398,000), followed by sub-divider/developer (253,000), and management consulting services (204,000). In the case of proprietorships, eating places are first (66,000), followed by beauty shops (46,000) and general auto repair (30,000).
SIC Codes with the highest number of companies registered as corporations and proprietorships
|Management consulting services||204,799|
|Real estate agent/manager||185,872|
|Real property lessor||179,986|
|Misc personal services||143,206|
|Ret mail-order house||104,073|
|General auto repair||30,791|
|Ret misc merchandise||22,725|
|Plumbing/heating/air conditioning contractor||18,340|
Majority of UK-based companies operate in services (41.3%), retail (14.2%), and finance, insurance, and real estate (12.6%). According to our latest records (as of May 2022), more than half of sales are generated by finance, insurance, and real estate (EUR 6.9B, which represents 41.85% of sales generated by all UK-based companies per year) and services (EUR 3.8B, which represents 23.25% of sales generated by all UK-based companies per year).
London remains to be the UK's financial capital, responsible for 69.1% (EUR 4.8B) of the total annual sales in the finance, insurance, and real estate industry. This can be explained by the fact that the world's top financial businesses are headquartered in the capital city. The list includes companies like Industrial And Commercial Bank Of China Limited, Bank Of China Limited, JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, Bank Of America, National Association, and HSBC Holdings PLC. Here it needs to be noted that these sales numbers could be skewed - banks’ and other financial institutions' sales numbers could include not only actual revenues brought in by, for example, interest on mortgages but also mortgages themselves (the amount actually borrowed from a bank). The top 100 companies in this industry account for 51.7% of sales in the entire UK economy.
UK: Distribution of companies by industry
|Industry||Number of Companies|
|Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate||935,051|
|Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services||328,613|
|Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing||157,350|
UK: Distribution of sales by industry
|Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate||€ 6.946T|
|Retail Trade||€ 1.233T|
|Transportation, Communications, Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services||€ 1.210T|
|Wholesale Trade||€ 1.045T|
|Public Sector||€ 126.6B|
|Unknown industry||€ 81.09B|
|Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing||€ 64.55B|
38% of all companies operating in the UK do business in the top 10 SIC Codes. Most of the UK business operate under business services (5.92%) and eating places (4.15%) SIC Codes.
UK: Distribution of companies by SIC Codes
|SIC Code||Number of Companies|
|Non classified establishment||682,017|
|Management consulting services||222,190|
|Real estate agent/manager||211,147|
|Computer related services||199,476|
|Real property lessor||183,647|
|Misc personal services||165,326|
|Ret mail-order house||109,113|
|Trucking operator-non local||91,376|
|General auto repair||87,506|
Almost one-sixth of companies are based in London. London is home to 16.4% of all UK companies, followed by Manchester (1.7%) and Birmingham (1.6%). Overall, 26.85% of all businesses are registered in the following 10 cities.
UK: Cities with the highest number of companies registered there
|City||Number of Companies|
According to our latest records (as of May 2022), the top performing company in the United Kingdom in terms of sales is Royal Dutch Shell PLC with EUR 161.2B per year, followed by BP PLC (EUR 161.1B). The top 15 largest companies have total annual sales of EUR 1.4T, which represents 20.8% of sales generated by all companies in the United Kingdom.
UK-based companies with the highest annual sales
|INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL BANK OF CHINA LIMITED||€ 163,051,568,308|
|ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC||€ 161,274,775,251|
|BP PLC.||€ 161,116,665,354|
|GLENCORE PLC||€ 127,147,155,856|
|BANK OF CHINA LIMITED||€ 119,567,969,945|
|JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION||€ 98,569,461,845|
|BANK OF AMERICA, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION||€ 84,406,566,792|
|ALLIANZ CAPITAL PARTNERS GMBH LONDON BRANCH||€ 75,714,000,000|
|JACK RICHARDS HOLDINGS LIMITED||€ 71,883,114,862|
|HSBC HOLDINGS PLC||€ 71,845,316,067|
|FIRST COMMERCIAL BANK, LIMITED||€ 68,496,519,275|
|HUA NAN COMMERCIAL BANK, LTD.||€ 65,314,550,047|
|MITSUBISHI UFJ FINANCIAL GROUP, INC.||€ 59,825,681,335|
|CANADA PENSION PLAN INVESTMENT BOARD||€ 58,935,267,912|
|CITIBANK N.A||€ 57,621,678,228|
|Top 15 largest companies||€ 1,444,770,291,077|
G4S Limited, a private security service, is the UK's largest employer with 551,748 employees. Tesco PLC is second with more than 367,000 employees, followed by HSBC Holdings PLC with 239,000 employees. UK's 15 largest companies employ 4.4% of all employees in the United Kingdom.
UK: Companies with the highest number of employees
|Company||Number of Employees|
|HSBC HOLDINGS PLC||239,712|
|J SAINSBURY PLC||171,400|
|ROYAL MAIL PLC||159,194|
|TESCO STORES LIMITED||151,496|
|BROADSTREET GREAT WILSON EUROPE LIMITED||150,176|
|ASDA GROUP LIMITED||150,176|
|SAINSBURY'S SUPERMARKETS LTD||148,700|
|ASDA STORES LIMITED||142,244|
|WITTINGTON INVESTMENTS LIMITED||139,570|
|Top 15 largest companies||2,962,737|