The research revealed that in 2010, start-up companies less than a year old represented 47.1% of Simply Business applications - an annual growth rate of 1.4%.
This compares with declines of 5.5% in 2009 and 4.5% in 2008 as the effects of recession led to a sharp fall in the number of new companies being launched.
The data also shows a very uneven picture across different sectors and regions.
London is the only region which has demonstrated strong growth overall in 2010, with a 7% growth in start
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