Start-ups are of great importance for economic dynamics and the renewal of the municipal knowledge base. A distinction must be made between commercial and freelance start-ups.
Commercial start-ups - balance remains positive
The number of new businesses founded in Bonn in 2020 was 2,080. Compared to the previous year, the number of new businesses founded in Bonn decreased significantly by -13.0%; in NRW as a whole, the decline was much weaker at -5.0%. The number of business deregistrations fell sharply in Bonn in 2020 by -18.2% with 1,653 deregistrations in absolute terms, while the state average saw deregistrations decline at a slower rate of -16.0%. Due to fewer business registrations and deregistrations in 2020, there was a clearly positive balance of net new businesses in Bonn of plus 427 (previous year: +371). A higher value was last achieved in 2013.
With the study "Freiberufliche Existenzgründungen in Deutschland und seinen Regionen im Jahr 2014," the Bonn-based Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) has for the first time comprehensively determined the number of start-ups in the liberal professions based on data from the financial administration. The start-up activity of the liberal professions is primarily concentrated in large cities, whereby the IfM researchers assume that these are particularly attractive for start-ups of the liberal professions "...if the local demand for services is stimulated by governmental or administrative institutions, corporate headquarters and/or numerous cultural institutions. In addition, resident universities as well as other educational and research institutions generate a large labor force potential for liberal professions with a tendency toward high affinity for self-employment."
According to IfM data, around 585 start-ups in the liberal professions were registered in the federal city of Bonn in 2020 (previous year: 740). This corresponds to rank 20 of all approximately 400 German independent cities and counties (previous year: rank 14). In terms of the Bonn spatial planning region, which is made up of the city of Bonn and the Rhein-Sieg district, the number of business startups in 2020 is 1,201. This value corresponds to a freelance business startup intensity of 20.8 (business startups per 10,000 employable inhabitants*). Compared to all 96 German regional planning regions, the Bonn ROR is in 6th place, led by the RORs of Berlin (business start-up intensity of 50.0), Hamburg (32.6) and Munich (29.4).
In Bonn, a total of 42 companies filed for insolvency proceedings in 2020, compared with 71 companies in 2019. It should be noted that the obligation to file for insolvency for insolvent and over-indebted companies was temporarily suspended until September 30, 2020 due to the Corona pandemic; for over-indebted companies even until the end of 2020.
Self-employment rate declines further
The self-employment rate measures the percentage of self-employed persons among all employed persons at the place of work. According to the data currently available, the number of self-employed persons in Bonn in 2019 was 16,800 (previous year: 17,200); the number of employed persons was 254,900. This corresponds to a slightly lower self-employment rate of 6.6% (previous year: 6.8%) in Bonn compared to the previous year. It should be noted that the rate has changed both due to the absolute decline in the number of self-employed (-400) and due to the change in the reference figure. Thus, the number of employed persons grew by 3,100 in absolute terms between 2018 and 2019. In this context, the growth is entirely attributable to employees - as defined by the Federal Statistical Office, blue-collar workers, white-collar workers, civil servants, soldiers and trainees. The self-employment rate for NRW as a whole was 8.4% in 2019, down 0.2 percentage points on the previous year - on the same scale as in Bonn.