Nearly a third of new businesses in the east of England which started in 1997 had ceased trading by the end of 2004, new figures have revealed.
The figures follow a question from David Ruffley MP
The government statistics show that 32% of firms which registered for Value Added Tax (VAT) between 1997 and 2004 had de-registered by the end of 2004.
The figures were released following a parliamentary question by Bury St Edmunds MP David Ruffley.
He said he was concerned at the level of business start up failures.
About a quarter of new firms in Bury St Edmunds also closed by the end of 2004.
Between 1997 and 2004, 140,400 businesses registered in the East, but 44,925 de-registered by the end of 2004.
The government said the VAT registrations and de-registrations were the best official guide to the pattern of business starts and closures.