Jonathan Vowles Chartered Accountants

01234 752 566


A Few Interesting Statistics About Self-Employment

Not a lot of people know this ...


People say that the UK is a nation of shop-keepers, but I disagree with that sweeping generalisation. The UK is actually a nation of entrepreneurs and I'm really proud that so many people have the confidence to go it alone ...

If you're considering self-employment, then you'll be in good company!

If you're considering self-employment, then you'll be in good company!

copyright: nexusplexus / 123rf stock photo

But if you're thinking of going self-employed or mulling over whether to start a small business yourself, here are some really interesting statistics that may finally sway you one way or another.

  1. In the year to March 2014 there were around 3,430,000 self-employed people with an average income of £22,900. Around 48,000 (1.4%) of self-employed people earned over £150,000 and of this around 4,000 (0.1%) self-employed individuals earned over £1m! Interestingly 1.4% of self-employed people are classed as high earners, compared to only 0.9% of employed people being high earners.

  2. Companies House statistics show that in April 2016 there were just under 3.5 million active limited companies. This is an increase of nearly 668,000 companies since April 2013. The average limited company will have two directors and last for 8½ years.

  3. Filing in your tax return is a hassle that many people delegate to an accountant ... but lots do it themselves. Indeed lots do it at Christmas with over 7,000 tax returns filed on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve and a further 36,000 on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!

  4. In the year to March 2016 Companies House issued 366,387 late filing penalties, split 189,683 to Limited Liability Partnerships and 176,704 to limited companies ... around £82m of penalties! An increase of about 8% over the year to March 2015 when the figures were 335,970 split 174,068 LLP and 161,902 Limited.

Fascinating isn't it? So are you swayed to start your own business? Well, if you want practical help and advice with that and regular help with your tax returns (and not just a load of statistics) then do call me on 01234 752 566 or click here to send me an email enquiry and let's see how I can help you.

Until next time ...


More about Jonathan Vowles ...

I've been an accountant in and for business since 1987 and have a wide experience of consultancy, audit, accounts, taxation and wealth planning work from individuals and small businesses to multinational corporations and charities.

My eclectic interests in growing and developing business span a number of areas, which can be summarised as strategic business advice and tax saving advice.

I have worked with the Chamber of Commerce to deliver courses for people about starting up in business and have lectured about tax for a major accountancy practice and for Milton Keynes College.

I relax by reading fiction and by getting away from the office in a campervan.


01234 752 566