Source: FSC

In 2022, incorporations fell about 22 percent year-on-year, putting the brakes on 2021’s modest recovery from successive 20-year lows in 2019 and 2020.

Incorporation numbers — which are seen as a bellwether for the health of the financial services industry — have generally been in decline since peaking at 77,022 in 2007.

Overall, 2022 saw 28,077, down from 36,178 in 2021 but up from 22,362 in 2020 and 26,150 in 2019, according to fourth quarter statistics released recently by the Financial Services Commission.

Last year, Q1 finished fairly strong, with 8,075 incorporations, initially suggesting that the year might continue the 2021 resurgence. Instead, Q2 saw a steep drop, to 6,630, and Q3 and Q4 each logged 6,686.

The Q4 tally was also eclipsed by Q4 2021’s total of 9,809, which was the strongest quarter since Q3 of 2015.

Active companies

The total number of active companies also dipped in Q4 2022, to 367,672, following three stronger quarters that each topped the 2021 year-end tally of 368,893.

In Q1 2022, there were 375,185 active companies, followed by 370,150 and 374,890 in Q2 and Q3, respectively.

Trending downward

Over the longer term, the number of active companies has also been trending downward, though not as steeply as incorporations. After peaking at 481,002 in 2011, the 2020 year-end tally hit a 14-year low of 366,364. The 2022 year-end tally was a close second.

Other numbers

Meanwhile, limited partnerships saw an approximately 55 percent decrease in new formations in Q4 2022 compared to Q4 2021, with 76 new formations. In Q3 2022, there were 77.

Cumulatively, 2,245 LPs have formed in the territory.

The number of new applications to register a trademark in Q4 2022 increased from 70 to 71 year-on-year, but fell from 102 in Q3 2022.

Since the enactment of the Trade Marks Act in 2015, a total of 2,251 new applications to register a trademark have been filed.

No patents were re-registered in Q4 2022, down from five re-registered in both Q4 2021 and Q3 2022.