Number of tech company start-ups jump by record 22%

27 February 2024

The number of new technology companies incorporated in the UK jumped by nearly a quarter (22%) last year, a record high, demonstrating the resilience of the UK’s tech sector despite broader economic challenges, according to analysis by leading audit, tax and consulting firm RSM UK.

The data shows a total of 51,017 tech companies were incorporated in the UK last year, up from 41,972 the year before. Key sub-sectors that saw significant growth included software developers, data businesses and IT consultancies. 

All regions in the UK saw an increase on the previous year, except for Wales which still incorporated 1,150 businesses, a small decrease from 2022. Tech incorporations in London rose by more than a quarter (26%) on the previous year’s figure to 26,060.  

Ben Bilsland, partner and technology industry senior analyst at RSM UK, said: ‘Our research is testament to the resilience of the UK’s tech sector despite global challenges. The rise in tech incorporations shows there is cause for optimism in this key industry. Whilst it’s impossible to ignore AI as a driving force behind UK tech incorporations, especially for businesses working in data, there will be other factors to consider. London projects itself as a leading global authority in tech. That strength is reflected across the UK by a vibrant and energetic sector that consistently supports early-stage businesses. But the sector has, and continues to be, marked by layoffs, so it may be that these members of the workforce have been confident enough to go it alone, thereby fuelling incorporation growth.

‘The government has an important role to play if this trend is to continue. Making valuable resources, including AI compute, accessible for universities and early-stage entrepreneurs is critical. Funding and policy changes, including innovation reliefs, that ensure a world-class tech workforce are crucial both in terms aiding education and skilled immigration. For those businesses working in AI, clarity on future regulation will assist the ability to forward-plan.’

Tech company incorporations by year 

Region 2022 2023 % change
East Midlands 1,358 1,627 20%
East of England 2,853 3,730 31%
London 20,627 26,060 26%
North East 605 704 16%
North West 3,167 3,602 14%
Northern Ireland 373 377 1%
Scotland 1,280 1,553 21%
South East 4,614 5,160 12%
South West 2,072 2,422 17%
Wales 1,257 1,150 -9%
West Midlands 2,230 2,797 25%
Yorkshire and The Humber 1,536 1,835 19%
Total 41,972 51,017 22%
Ben Bilsland
Ben  Bilsland
Partner, Head of Technology
Ben Bilsland
Ben  Bilsland
Partner, Head of Technology