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Business enterprises in Europe - Statistics & Facts

There are approximately 22.65 million enterprises operating in the non-financial business economy of the European Union in 2021, which was slightly more than in 2020, but around 200,000 fewer than there were in 2019. The delayed economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic, mitigated at first by substantial governmental intervention has hit the world's economies hard, with business insolvencies expected to grow across the world in 2021. In relation to Europe, France is expected to suffer the highest number of insolvencies, at around 50,000, followed by Germany at just under 23,180, and the UK at 20,250.

Largest companies in Europe

Based on the global number of employees, the German car manufacturer Volkswagen is the largest company in Europe, employing over 671,000 people across the globe. The UK-based foodservice company Compass Group was the second-largest European company in terms of employment, at over 596,000 global employees. In terms of revenue, the largest European company was the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, with annual revenues of 352.11 billion U.S dollars. Overall, Germany had the highest number of large businesses that employed 250 or more people in the European Union, at 11,600, far more than the second-highest country, France which had just 3,600. As a share of the total number of companies, large businesses made up just 0.2 percent of the European business population, with the vast majority of businesses being small and medium-sized ones that employed fewer than 250 people.

Which country has the best business environment?

According to the Ease of Doing Business Index from the World Bank, Denmark was the highest ranking country in Europe, implying that it had the best regulatory environment on the continent. The UK had the second highest ranking, and was followed by Norway in third place, and Sweden in fourth. The index measures a variety of factors, including the average number of days that it takes to register a company, which ranges from three and a half days in Denmark, Estonia, and the Netherlands, to 80 days in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Austria, while only achieving thirteenth place in the Ease of Doing Business ranking, is home to the oldest company in Europe, a restaurant called the Stiftskeller St. Peter, operating within the walls of a church in Salzburg for more than 1,200 years.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Businesses in Europe".


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