New research reveals that more Brits than ever before want to start their own business in 2018.

The survey of 1,000 working British people, carried out by award-winning cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent, found that 11 per cent intend to start their own business within the year of 2018.

With over 32 million people currently working in the UK, according to ONS statistics, that means 3.5 million more Brits are expected to become their own boss before the start of 2019.

FreeAgent conducted a similar poll last year and found that, by contrast, 3.2 million workers were prepared to start their own companies in 2017.

While 11 per cent of Brits aim to become self-employed by the end of 2018, 8 per cent said they would like to work for themselves by the end of 2019, and 3% by the end of 2020. Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) said they want to start their own business at some point, but don’t yet have any concrete plans to do so.

FreeAgent found that the top three reasons for wanting to start a business were:

  • Better work / life balance (44 per cent)
  • Wanting to choose the type of work that you do (43 per cent)
  • Attaining a greater sense of achievement (37 per cent)
While the top three concerns around setting up a business were:
  • The financial burden of setting up (35 per cent)
  • Managing company finances (34 per cent)
  • Lack of confidence (30 per cent)
Breakdown By Gender, Location & Age

Notably, more women than men plan to set up their own business in 2018 (13 per cent in comparison to 9 per cent of men). And overall, 52 per cent women dream of becoming their own boss in comparison with 46 per cent of their male counterparts.

London was home to the highest number of budding entrepreneurs looking to start their own business by the end of 2018 (18 per cent), while almost a third (32 per cent) of respondents in Northern Ireland said that they plan on starting their own business by the end of 2020. One in five (20 per cent) of respondents from Wales said that while they do want to start their own business, they have no plans to do so yet.

Of the younger age groups surveyed, 57 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 57 per cent of 25-34 year olds said that they planned to become their own boss at some point. By comparison, 54 per cent of 35-44 year olds, 45 per cent of 45-54 year olds and 39 per cent of over 55 year olds, said they wanted to start their own business.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, said: “Starting your own business can be an extremely rewarding, if daunting, move for people to make with their career. The desire for a better work/life balance and the ability to choose the type of work they perform are key reasons for many people who want to start a business - it’s interesting to see that the younger generations are the most driven to become their own boss.

“It’s so important for any new business owner to make sure they are fully prepared before they start up. One of the main reasons that new businesses fail is because they cannot maintain a healthy cash flow, so drawing up a detailed business plan and staying on top of your finances is key if you want to make your venture a success.”