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The Fastest 50 list is objectively compiled using data sourced from Companies House and ranked by the biggest average annual growth in turnover.

For companies to make the list they must meet the following criteria:

Must be a trading entity
Must be a private limited company
The registered office must have a postcode in the region
Must have a locally-based decision-making function
Companies with a UK-based holding company which does not have its registered office in the three regions will be excluded
Subsidiaries of foreign-controlled companies are included, provided they have a headquarters or decision-making function in the three regions
Private companies that are subsidiaries of public companies are excluded
Companies will be excluded if there is another entry higher up the list which is owned by the same holding company
Turnover must be in excess of £1 million in each of the last three financial years
Turnover must have increased across each of the last three years
There must have been positive pre-tax profit in each of the last three years
Must have filed new accounts since last year's awards
The filing of accounts must be up-to-date as at:
• North East - 1 July
• Yorkshire - 1 December
• Greater Manchester - 1 February