DORSET had a record year for new businesses in 2018, with more than 700 being set up in west Dorset.

Figures published by Inform Direct Review of UK Company Formations show that more new businesses were established in the county during 2018 than any previous year – despite the challenges of political and economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

In terms of new companies, 8,314 were registered in the county compared to 7,242 in 2017, which represents an increase of 14.8 per cent.

This brings the total number of registered companies in Dorset to 56,307, up from 52,411 at the end of 2017, which equates to 7.4 per cent growth.

Poole formed the most new businesses with 3,450, followed by Bournemouth with 2,313 and west Dorset with 741.

The statistics came from data obtained from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

John Korchak, director of operation at Inform Direct, said: “These record high figures for new company formations in Dorset show a very positive picture for business against a background of political and economic uncertainty.

“It is clear that the county continues to provide a supportive environment, both for new business ventures and existing enterprises.

“It is heartening to see entrepreneurs making their mark with increasing numbers of new businesses being formed.

“This picture is mirrored elsewhere in the UK, with a number of regions seeing more new formations in 2018 than at any time in their history and the UK as a whole achieving a new record total of registered companies.”

Across the UK as a whole, a record number of new companies were formed, going up to 669,855 compared with 634,116 in 2017.

The number of registered companies in the UK also continued to grow, finishing the year with a total of 4,308,022.