• A new study using Companies House data has revealed that 67,858 new businesses offering commercial services were founded in 2021, the fourth highest across all industries
  • Almost 1 in 10 (9%) of all new businesses founded during 2021 were from those offering commercial services such as Recruitment and Logistics
  • The research by Yell Business also found that key areas to start up in the commercial services sector include Bath, Oldham and Nottingham

Business is looking up in the UK commercial services industry, as new research by Yell Business has revealed that it was the fourth fastest growing sector throughout 2021.

Using data acquired from Companies House, the research helps to show that despite another challenging year, the entrepreneurial spirit of the nation is alive and well, with more businesses founded per month in 2021 than in 2020, or even during pre-pandemic 2019.

In fact, an average of 13% more new businesses were founded each month in 2021 vs. 2019 and it was the commercial services industry helping to lead the way. Of the 718,441 companies started up to and including November 2021, 67,858 (9%) of those were from the commercial services sector, sitting behind the likes of retail and property, with services such as recruitment firms and warehousing also in high demand.

Of those new ventures founded within the industry, some 4,786 were commercial cleaning businesses, potentially as a result of the worldwide focus on hygiene following the pandemic.

The 10 Fastest Growing Sectors in 2021

Rank Sector Businesses Founded in 2021
1. Retail 119,948
2. Professional Services 116,669
3. Real Estate 109,570
4. Commercial Services 67,858
5. Hospitality 64,404
6. Construction 61,035
7. Wholesale 45,578
8. Information and Communication 37,175
9. Manufacturing 36,538
10. Health and Social Work 36,753

Yell’s research also revealed where budding entrepreneurs could find the biggest opportunities within the sector. This was achieved by analysing the Google search demand for the likes of ‘London recruiter’ versus the actual number of businesses offering the particular service in each area. This revealed that demand for recruitment firms in Oldham far outweighs the supply and therefore could present an opportunity for any recruiters looking to go it alone and start their own business.

Key Areas Where Demand Outweighs Supply in the Commercial Services Sector

Business type  Top three locations based on searches per listing
Warehousing 1.       Bath (294.74)

2.       Chelmsford (219.63)

3.       Southend-on-Sea (211.18)

Recruitment 1.       Oldham (26.41)

2.       Llandrindod Wells (18.00)

3.       Peterborough (14.40)

Logistics 1.       Southend-on-Sea (12.63)

2.       Nottingham (11.53)

3.       Belfast (8.35)

Business insurance 1.       Oldham (11.57)

2.       Bolton (8.65)

3.       Wakefield (8.15)

Waste management 1.       Kilmarnock (34.67)

2.       Milton Keynes (25.00)

3.       Truro (16.00)


Claire Miles, Chief Executive Officer of Yell commented: “With the challenges of the last two years, we might expect to find that fewer people were deciding to take the leap into the world of starting and running their own business. However, the data clearly shows that it has potentially inspired more people to take ownership of what they do for a living and finally make the dream of running their own business come true.

With the background of the pandemic and numerous economic and supply chain challenges, it’s really encouraging to see that the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK is continuing to grow year on year.  We look forward to working with some of these new business owners in 2022, to help make their venture a success”.

The extensive analysis also highlighted which areas of the UK had seen the highest number of businesses launched per capita, and somewhat surprisingly the Welsh coastal town of Llandudno ranked as the most entrepreneurial location, showing that big business doesn’t just start in the city.

Further breakdowns of these findings can be found in the full report published on: https://business.yell.com/sme-insight/the-entrepreneurial-spirit-of-the-uk