New stats show 2010 a bad year for NI business

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that there were more closures of businesses in Northern Ireland than there were new start-ups in 2010.

There were 5,390 Northern Ireland companies that ceased to trade in 2010, representing 9% of total businesses in the province. New companies only accounted for 7% of the total 59,000 businesses operating in Northern Ireland in 2010, meaning the year ended with less firms that it began.

The rest of the UK experienced a similar shortfall in the number of new companies against closures, and reflects the severity of the economic difficulties businesses are having to cope with.

Drew Nesbitt, a solicitor specialising in company law at Wilson Nesbitt solicitors, commented:

"It has been a very difficult period for business in Northern Ireland.  Many small businesses focused on the local economy have struggled due to the lack of disposable income within the local market.  That said there are examples of local businesses continuing to succeed through the export of innovative products to foreign markets.   Continual reassessment of employment requirements, accommodation needs, and a general tightening up of expenses continue to be required.  However, there will always be growth where there is a focus on innovation and when new markets are found. "

If you are planning to start a new company in Northern Ireland, or need advice on selling or winding up and existing company, contact one of the commercial solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast for information and guidance by email at or by calling 0800 840 9295 .