At the start of 2014:
There were an estimated 5.2 million businesses in the UK which employed 25.2 million people, and had a combined turnover of more than £3,500 billion
Small firms accounted for 99.3 per cent of all private sector businesses in the UK, 47.8 per cent of private sector employment and 33.2 per cent of private sector turnover
Small and medium sized businesses employed 15.2 million people and had a combined turnover of £1.6 trillion
Of all businesses, 62 per cent (3.3 million) were sole proprietorships, 29 per cent (1.5 million) were companies and nine per cent (460,000) partnerships
The biggest percentage increases in the number of businesses since the start of 2013 were in Wales (up 13%) and the North East (12%)
18% of all SMEs in the UK private sector operate in the Construction sector while 15% operate in the Professional, Scientific and Technical sectors.
Wholesale and Retail Trade accounts for over a third of all SME turnover (35%)
(updated November 2014)
Figures obtained from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.