Doing business is not the same in all the countries. Some countries are much easier to navigate in terms of procedures. While others can be better at getting credit. There are many parameters that justify how good a country is to do business in. Every year the World Bank Group takes into account numerous factors such as construction permits, property registrations and taxes to compile a ease of doing business report. This flagship report covers 190 economies and has been produced for over a decade.
As per the 2017 report, the top ten economies for carrying out business are:
1. New Zealand
4. Hong Kong SAR, China
5. South Korea
7. United Kingdom
8. United States
10. Macedonia, FYR
Though this is the first-time New Zealand has been ranked as the best country to carry out business, over the course of the last ten years some things have been consistent. For example, Singapore has been considered as the best country to do business in nine of the last ten years.
There have been some changes too. Macedonia has for the first time broken into the top 10. In 2007 it was ranked 92. This is a remarkable change. In the top 10, apart from Macedonia, South Korea is the only other economy to gain big places. From 23rd in 2007 to 5th in 2017. Other countries have mostly gained or lost only few places. Further, it is interesting to note that four of the top five locations happen to be in Asia.
Though a start-up may not have much flexibility in choosing what country to start in, businesses looking to expand, benefit greatly from such reports. Moreover, these reports put the pressure on the governments to become more efficient and invest in frameworks in which business can flourish and thus generate more employment opportunities.
It must be noted that ease of doing the business is not the same as starting a business. It is possible that in some economies there may be favourable conditions such as easy credit to incentivise more start-ups. It is equally likely that the exit costs may be very high in the same economy.
As per the same report, the following countries make up the top 10 economies in 2017 to start a business in:
1. New Zealand
3. Hong Kong SAR, China
4. Macedonia, FYR
Comparing the two tables above, we find that the following economies appear in both:
1. New Zealand
2. Hong Kong SAR, China
These economies will appeal to entrepreneurs with a long-term business perspective. These are not only one of the best places to start a business in but also one of the best places to sustain a business.
However, many businesses choose their country of registration based on tax benefits. At the end of the day, it’s just a question of ethics but it’s good to stay aware of the benefits of doing business in different countries. You might find it interesting to read about secrecy jurisdictions, tax havens, and the Paradise Papers.