Latest statistics show that the West Midlands saw an increase in the number of businesses over the last 12 months, despite a background of political and economic uncertainty.
The total number of registered companies in the region grew to 173,134, up from 167,807 at the end of 2018 - which equates to 3.2% growth.
However, there was a fall in the number of new company formations during 2019, when 29,676 new companies were registered, compared to 32,571 during 2018, representing a decrease of 8.9%.
The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of Company Formations using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.
Birmingham formed the most, new businesses (14,602), followed by Coventry (3,427) and Sandwell (3,206).
John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct said: “With the last 12 months presenting a very challenging environment for businesses – in terms of political and economic uncertainty – it is not surprising that some areas, including the West Midlands, have experienced a fall in the number of new businesses being established compared to 2018.
“However, this picture is not replicated throughout the UK. Some counties have seen a record year for new company formations and the UK as a whole has experienced an all-time high of nearly 700,000 new businesses being established over the year.”
Alongside this record number of formations – 690,763 compared to 669,855 in 2018 – the overall number of UK companies also continued to grow, with a new high of 4,471,008, a 3.8% increase on the total of 4,308,022 at the end of 2018.