Aberdeen comes out top as a new survey identifies the 15 UK cities that offer the best conditions for new businesses.
The top 15 cities in order are: Aberdeen, Bath, Brighton and Hove, Leicester, Edinburgh, Leeds, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Southend-on-Sea, Sheffield, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool.
Aberdeen stands out with a five-year start-up survival rate of 53%. Almost 8% of its 229,800 residents work for themselves. In contrast, new businesses in Liverpool have a five-year survival rate of 39% and just under 7% of Liverpudlians are self-employed.
Cost of living varies considerably between cities. The most expensive place to live is Aberdeen with an average monthly utility bill of £195.30; this compares to average bills of just £95.40 in Cardiff.
Two cities stand out as having a significantly larger self-employed population than average - 12% of people in Bath and 16% of people in Brighton and Hove are self-employed. That compares with 5% in Leicester.
The rewards for self-employment also vary. The city with the highest average gross weekly pay is Milton Keynes (£602.40); the place with the lowest average gross weekly pay is Leicester (£497.90).
Entrepreneurs need to weigh up both costs and the opportunities, says the report. "It's all about getting the right balance," said Guy Moreve, head of marketing at Paymentsense. "You need to find somewhere that fits in with your target demographic, but is also sustainable for you.
"The cities we've outlined stand out because they are places that already have an established business community with a pool of potential customers, and yet they still have potential for further growth. To be successful, entrepreneurs need to find their niche within these places, put together a comprehensive plan and work hard to execute it."