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Business: East Sussex

Volume 461: debated on Friday 15 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many business start-ups there were in (a) Eastbourne and (b) East Sussex in each year since 1997. (141897)

Value added tax (VAT) registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups. DTI data on the number of VAT registrations, and the start of year stock of VAT registered businesses, in East Sussex and Eastbourne from 1997 to 2005 are shown in the following table. Data for 2006 will be available autumn 2007.

VAT registrations and start of year VAT stock

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Eastbourne

Registrations

245

210

250

220

260

220

285

195

250

n/a

Stock

1,980

2,010

2,015

2,065

2,070

2,145

2,125

2,180

2,130

2,180

East Sussex

Registrations

1,750

1,620

1,650

1,610

1,580

1,670

1,725

1,460

1,530

n/a

Stock

15,360

15,705

16,005

16,265

16,460

16,615

16,865

17,045

17,030

17,205

Source:

Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005, Small Business Service, available from:

http://www.dtistats.net/smes/vat/index.htm

Although numbers of registrations in Eastbourne and East Sussex have remained fairly constant, the start of year stock has risen by 10 per cent. over the period in Eastbourne, and by 12 per cent. in East Sussex.

VAT registration and de-registration data do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if their turnover falls below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Similarly, businesses that de-register may not have closed. Only 1.8 million out of 4.3 million businesses (42 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2005.