A record 13,223 companies were registered in the county in 2014, against a previous high of 12,599.
The county’s total number of firms is now a record 88,167 according to Companies House, with 26% more companies active in Kent than there were five years ago.
Medway has the highest amount of new companies with 1,888, followed by Maidstone with 1,260, Sevenoaks with 1,124 and Tunbridge Wells and Dartford which both secured more than 1,000 new companies.
The interesting figures were compiled by Henry Catchpole, chief executive of online secretarial services company Inform Direct, who believes that Kent is close to surpassing neighbouring Surrey for business numbers, which had 89,580 registered firms.
Whilst the figures for new companies are encouraging, the number of company dissolutions “held back total growth for Kent”. Apparently over 9,000 companies in Kent were dissolved last year, which means that for every 10 companies formed, seven failed to survive.
Last year 586,784 new businesses were registered with Companies House in the UK as a whole, taking the total number to a new high of 3,509,084. Unsurprisingly London is by far the most prolific area for start-ups with 191,915 new companies started in 2014.
In 2010 the University of Kent launched its Enterprise Hub as a place for students, staff and alumni to set up new businesses.
Since then the Canterbury based Hub has become home to 74 start ups employing 138 people, contributing £3.9 million to the local economy.
Enterprise manager Marcus Wright said: “Becoming an entrepreneur is being recognised as a credible career path.
“With so many graduates going for the same vacancies out there, students are seeking alternatives.
“Many students are starting up businesses with an exit strategy, particularly creating apps, rather than setting up one which will last 100 years.
“We have had six or seven companies which have sold for a couple of million pounds, which we are quite proud of.”
Source: Kent Online
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