The UK: The best country to start a business

Despite the economic headwinds that are currently sweeping much of the world’s economies, there are some countries where starting a business can be easier than others. Creating an environment where entrepreneurs face fewer hurdles in their efforts to start a business has been the aim of many governments, but few consistently get it right.  

However, the UK remains near the top of the list. Indeed, only the US keeps the UK from being named the best country to start a business in the most recent StartupBlink 2020 Global Rankings Report that takes into account the quantity and quality of new companies as well as the infrastructure in which they operate. Whether that’s broadband speed, R&D spend, or government support, UK businesses enjoy some of the best conditions on earth to grow and prosper.  

A closer look reveals London – unsurprisingly – as the main driver of the UK’s position.  “Post-Brexit, there seems to be no indication of another European city absorbing the ecosystem strength of the UK,” the report says. “As the only city in the top 5 that is not a US city, an amazing accomplishment, demonstrating how much of a unique global hub London is.  

London is the only top 5 hub globally that is not located in the USA. To compare, London has almost 3 times the number of Unicorns of any other European city. European start-ups with ambitious aspirations might prefer to be in a global hub like London that also enjoys a strong connection to the USA.  

And that is underscored by another recent piece of research that shows London second only to New York as a global financial centre. The city recently gained 24 points in the latest Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), which measures the competitiveness of 111 financial hubs, leaving it just four points behind leader New York. 

But it’s not all in London. A closer look at the StartupBlink report shows that Glasgow has climbed 3 spots nationally to be ranked 6th in the UK and 151st globally. Meanwhile, Belfast has jumped by 7 spots in the national ranking to become 7th in the UK and 174th globally. Cambridge has fallen by 42 spots to 175th.  

In total, the UK can be proud of having 50 cities in the top 1000 cities to start a business, the report concludes.   

There are a number of hurdles for businesses to overcome when beginning their journey towards growth – be that navigating the various business laws, employment regulations, financing rules, or banking. So, if you’re in need of advice or support, we’re right here for all your needs, and you can contact us for help in a number of areas, from tax and payroll to accounting and banking.