See how we can help

Get started online

Best City To Start A Business In The UK

Written By:
Myles Robinson - Expert Finance Advisor

Posted: Dec 14, 2022

Fact Checked By:
David Nicholson - Finance Editor

Best City To Start A Business In The UK

Meta description – Want to know where the best city is to start up a business in the UK? We have all the facts for you below. 


Starting a business means having a lot of planning, budgeting and accounting to do. Keeping in mind that almost 20% of new businesses fail in their first year, you may be wondering where to begin and how to set yourself up for success. 


In 2022, there are approximately 5.51 million private businesses in the UK alone, so standing out from a crowded market and making a name for yourself can be difficult. While there are plenty of booming cities to potentially start a business, you’ll want to know where new businesses thrive. 


New businesses may be successful in the first few years, but profits can decline and dwindle. London has the highest business startup rate in the UK but also the highest business death rate. The best business survival rate over 5 years is York, with a rate of 47.9%. 


Building a business is never an easy process, and you’ll need a large sum of money just to get you started. Here at Loan Corp, we offer a range of finance assistance and loans for commercial and domestic use. We take all of the hard work out of finance, and specialise in business loans to help you get started with your newest venture. 


If your end goal is to achieve a high salary as a business owner, then Cambridge is the highest earning location with an average salary for business owners of about £66,064 per year. 


With these stats in mind, we’ve been analysing the data, and crunching the numbers, trying to find where the best city to start a business is in the UK. We’ve looked at 31 different cities, including factors such as rental prices for a small office, average net income, business survival rate, the average salary for the business owner – you name it. This has provided us with insight as to which cities can be most successful for starting up your own business. 

The 5 Best Cities To Start A Business

If you’re thinking about starting your own business, but unsure of which cities have the best survival rate and success, then take your pick from one of the following ranked by index score.


  1. London (4.75)
  2. Cambridge (4.58)
  3. Oxford (4.10)
  4. York (3.99)
  5. Reading (3.92) 


The 3 Worst Cities To Start A Business 

In comparison, the three worst cities to start a business in the UK are as follows, ranked by index score. 


  1. Plymouth (3.21) 
  2. Dundee (3.30)
  3. Sunderland (3.30)


That being said, Sunderland is the cheapest city to rent a small office space in the UK at roughly £130 PCM, and of course, London being the most expensive for office space to run a business out of. While other cities that may not have made this list can offer great opportunities for business opening and investment, when you consider other factors like the broadband coverage, rental costs, and average income of potential customers, they may not be as viable an option. 


So there you have it. Across the whole of the UK, businesses are being birthed as we speak, but how long those businesses maintain success depends on various factors. While cities such as London, Cambridge and York are some of the best to start up a new business, locations such as Plymouth and Sunderland are some of the worst to open up a business. With this in mind, where will you start your business venture?