West Sussex saw a record number of new businesses registered in 2014, taking the total figure for companies running in the region to an all time high.
According to the figures compiled by online records management company www.informdirect.co.uk, 6,279 new firms were incorporated last year against a previous best of 5,791.
This means the total number of businesses running out of the region now stands at 44,733, with 55.3 companies per 1,000 people.
There were 1,292 new companies formed in Horsham and 1,246 in Mid Sussex.
Henry Catchpole, CEO of Inform Direct, said: “It is great to see an entrepreneurial spirit flourishing right across the region. There is lots of support out there for fledgling businesses and it seems people are putting their ideas and dreams into action more than ever before.”
According to the figures, there are now 23% more companies active in West Sussex than there were five years ago.
Last year in the UK as a whole, 586,784 new businesses were registered with Companies House taking the total number to a record high of 3,509,084. Private limited companies made up over 95% of all formations.
Nationally London remains by far the most prolific area for start-ups with 191,915 new companies started in 2014.
While Britain has long been famed as an enterprising nation, the recent explosion in start-up activity has been exceptional.
Mr Catchpole suggests that there are three complementary factors fueling this growth.
First, there is the ease and speed with which a company can be started – usually within hours and generally for less than £20.
Secondly, many companies can successfully operate from home and need little more than a website before they can start trading.
Thirdly, there are improved channels for accessing capital.
Crowdfunding is a good example of this, making it easier for new companies to get early stage backing and therefore encouraging would-be entrepreneurs to give it a go.
In bringing together data available from Companies House and the Office of National Statistics, Inform Direct has built up a truly unique picture of how many businesses are now operating across the UK.
Inform Direct provides a cloud-based solution enabling businesses and their professional advisers to manage all their company records. The service provides an online platform for a range of actions including submitting annual returns, updating shareholder records, creating share certificates, changing your company name, producing dividend vouchers and of course forming new companies!