Is Brighton accountant behind city’s high tech start-up hotspot ranking?

Posted On 15 Jan 2020 at 10:39 am

Crunch celebrating its tenth anniversary last year

New figures suggest that Brighton and Hove is a UK hotspot for tech start-ups – but a city accountant’s success is artificially inflating the city’s ranking.

The Centre for Entrepreneurs included the number of tech start-ups in its annual analysis of where new companies are based in the UK, and Brighton and Hove came sixth in the UK.

In total, 566 tech companies with a Brighton and Hove address were registered with Companies House in 2019 – about 15% of the city’s total 3,735 start-ups.

But 942 of the total number of companies had the same registered address as Crunch Accounting, which allows companies to use its address when registering with Companies House.

Crunch says that only about 3% of its tech start-ups are based in Brighton and Hove but all use Crunch’s address in Preston Road, Brighton.

This means that the number of start-ups who are actually based in the city is about 25% lower – and possibly more as tech start-ups are more likely to use online accounting.

Darren Fell, CEO and Founder of Crunch, said: “We are thrilled that Brighton and Hove has been included in the Centre for Entrepreneurs 2019 Business Startup Index and we are proud that such a large amount of start ups across the country choose Crunch as their accountancy provider.

“Crunch has been operating from Brighton and Hove since 2009, and continues to provide award-winning accountancy services to contractors, freelancers, consultants, and small businesses nationwide.”

Matt Smith, director of policy and research at the Centre for Entrepreneurs, said: “Formation agents and contractor accounting firms will always have a distortionary effect in a handful of areas.

“But overall, these figures bring to life the entrepreneurial drive that is evident all over the UK.”

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