Ireland’s new company start-up levels reached their lowest point in four years in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the latest figures from credit risk analyst CRIFVision-net.
The annual figures released in recent days reveal that a total of 21,924 new start-ups were registered in 2020, the lowest figure on record since 2016 (21,018). This marks an overall decrease of 4% in new registrations when compared to 2019.
According to the data, the second quarter of the year recorded the lowest number of company start-ups (3,998, April–June). April 2020 was the worst month for start-ups (1,075) since December 2012 (992).
Despite the overall decrease in activity among the start-up community in 2020, there have been early signs of regrowth, with levels increasing from June (1,701).
The final quarter of the year proved particularly strong, marking an increase of 20% in new registrations compared to Q3. In total, 6,583 new companies were registered in Q4, a 23% increase on the same period in 2019.
The figures reveal that despite the Covid-19 economic downturn, start-ups have remained more resilient when compared to the 2008 recession where figures decreased by 22% year-on-year for 2008 (18,696 start-ups, 2007 vs 14,603 start-ups, 2008).
2020 vs 2019
Of the 26 counties in the Republic of Ireland, a total of 24 recorded a decrease in new company start-ups for 2020.
Leitrim experienced the largest percentage decrease, recording a total of 55 new companies in 2020, down 41% when compared to 2019.
Leitrim was followed by Meath (-39%, 629), Clare (-33%, 401), and Cavan (-24%, 213).
Mayo (+4%, 345) and Tipperary (+6%, 461) were the only two counties to record a percentage increase.
2020 vs 2019
In 2020 the majority of industries experienced a similar decline in start-up activity:
The fishing sector (-42%, 28) recorded the biggest drop in new company start-ups in 2020.
Fishing was followed by leasing (-39%, 411), utilities (-17%, 151), and hospitality (-14%, 1,111).
The legal, accounting, and business sector was the biggest contributor to new company start-ups in 2020, accounting for 4,401 registrations. This, however, marks a 6% decrease for the sector when compared to 2019.