Business registrations and bankruptcies in the EU remain stable in Q4 2020

In the fourth quarter of 2020, the quarter when many EU Member States re-introduced some COVID-19 restrictions, the number of registrations of new businesses remained almost the same compared with the previous quarter (down by 0.4 %).

This comes after rocky second and third quarters of 2020, when the number of new business registrations first plummeted to the lowest point since the start of the series and then rebounded.

The number of declarations of bankruptcies in the EU also saw only a small decrease of 1.2 % in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the third quarter 2020.

Year-on-year comparison shows that the number of registrations of new businesses increased by 2.8 % in the EU in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared with the same quarter a year before, while the number of registered bankruptcies decreased by 17.9 %.

For more information:

  • See the Statistics Explained article Quarterly registrations of new businesses and declarations of bankruptcies – statistics.
  • The decrease of registrations and bankruptcies in the first two quarters of 2020 may be largely explained by the fact that the respective administrations responsible for the recording of registrations and bankruptcies were temporarily not accessible or closed and therefore these events could not be reported immediately, but with a delay. Governments may also have allowed additional time for completing the administrative procedures.
  • The relatively low number of bankruptcies in many countries may be explained by the government measures supporting businesses during the crisis that may have allowed businesses that would otherwise have filed for bankruptcy to continue their activities.