Revealed: the best place to run a business in the UK

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Date: 4 August 2020

Donegall Square with view to Belfast City Hall

Belfast tops the list of the best cities in the UK for running your own business, according to new research on business costs.

Utility Bidder has studied a range of common business costs - from salaries and broadband fees to office rents - to find the cheapest and the most expensive places to run a business.

In the UK, the findings show that the most affordable cities for business owners are: Belfast, Liverpool, Southampton, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Aberdeen has the highest average annual salary at £35,000 outside London (at £37,000) while Liverpool has the lowest average salary at £26,000.

Belfast has the cheapest monthly internet cost at £28 a month, followed by Southampton and Glasgow (£29). Bristol, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and London have the highest monthly internet cost at £32.

Belfast has the cheapest average annual office cost per square foot at £34. Unsurprisingly, London has the most expensive business office occupancy costs, at an average of £113.20 per square foot.

For UK entrepreneurs thinking of expanding overseas or even relocating, the study of business costs around the world shows that the most affordable cities for businesses are: Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, Bratislava and Helsinki. Belfast comes eighth in the global list.

Office space is most affordable in Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Valencia, Porto and Bratislava. The cheapest cities for salary are: Mexico City, Budapest, Warsaw, Porto and Prague.

Budapest offers the cheapest corporate taxes - at just 9%. But the UK's 19% corporation tax rate ensures that UK cities are in second place when it comes to low business taxes.

Overall, the most expensive cities are: San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Boston and Geneva.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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