What are the best countries for starting a business?

starting a business abroad

While in some countries, starting a business can be like running an obstacle course, other States tend to facilitate entrepreneurship. When selecting the country in which to launch a start-up, not only do you need to think about what kind of business you will be doing but you also must learn about administrative, legal and tax regulations. Every year, several rankings of world’s top business-friendly countries are published. Find out which are the most attractive locations for aspiring entrepreneurs!

3 rankings of world’s most business-friendly countries

3 studies, which are published annually, rank counties depending on how business-friendly they are:

  • the Doing Business 2015 study, published by the World Bank Group, measures regulations affecting various areas of the life of a business in 189 countries,
  • the Global Entrepreneurship Index 2015, which is published by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI), ranks 130 countries depending on their overall entrepreneurship potential,
  • the Bloomberg Best Countries for Business 2014 survey ranks world’s 50 most attractive countries for business.

World’s 10 best countries for starting a business

The list of world’s best countries to start a company varies from one study to another. Nevertheless, 4 countries always appear in the top 10 list: Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

RangBanque mondialeGEDIBloomberg
1SingaporeUnited StatesHong Kong
2New ZealandCanadaCanada
3Hong KongAustraliaUnited States
4DenmarkUnited KingdomSingapore
5South KoreaSwedenAustralia
6NorwayDenmarkGermany
7United StatesIcelandUnited Kingdom
8United KingdomTaïwanNetherlands
9FinlandSwitzerlandSpain
10AustraliaSingaporeSweden

Measuring startup-friendliness: what criteria?

Is it difficult to get a business loan in the UK? Is the Malaysian business environment favorable to innovation? How much do the various business start-up procedures in Brazil cost? To find out which are the best countries for launching a business, various indicators are taken into account. While the Bloomberg rankings are based on only 6 criteria, the Global Entrepreneurship Index uses 14 “pillars”. As for the Doing Business study, 11 sets of indicators exist. Thus, the criteria used to compare countries’ entrepreneurship potential can include: construction permit obtention, tax payment, labor costs, cross-border trade regulations…

To find out more about the best countries to start a business:

View the full reports on Bloomberg.com, Doingbusiness.org and Thegedi.org.

Date of publication Jun 22 2015

Other articles on this subject

International mobility: what are the trends?
Which are the world’s most dangerous countries?
Checklist for protecting employees abroad
The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program
10 tips to expanding a business abroad