The number of businesses that suffered corporate insolvency increased between 2009 and 2010, new figures reveal.
According to official data from the Office for National Statistics, the number of business deaths rose by 20,000 (7.4 per cent) to 297,000 during the period.
The figures also show that the proportion of business deaths has outnumbered business births for the second consecutive year, with births remaining broadly flat with a small decrease of 1,000 (0.4 per cent).
For 2010, there were some 297,000 business deaths – a death rate of 12.9 per cent. Meanwhile in 2009, there were 277,000 business deaths, representing a death rate of 11.8 per cent.
Official figures also show that there were around 2.3million active businesses in the UK in 2010 – a decrease of 42,000 from 2009.
The highest business death rate (at 22.6 per cent) occurred in business administration and support services, followed by accommodation and food services at 15.7 per cent.
In terms of the overall number of deaths, professional, scientific and technical firms had the highest number at 53,000. This was followed by business administration and support services at 45,000 and construction at 44,000.
Broken down by region, London had the highest number of business death rates at 15 per cent (60,000 business deaths), but also the highest rate of business births at 13.1 per cent.
Meanwhile, Northern Ireland had the lowest business birth and death rates at 7.8 per cent and 9.1 per cent respectively.
In terms of business survivals, the highest five-year survival rate was in Northern Ireland at 54 per cent, while the lowest was in London at 39.7 per cent.
The latest Insolvency Index published by Experian shows that corporate insolvencies in the UK rose by 0.10 per cent in October as companies strived to contentd with the difficult economic climate.