10 Best Countries for Doing Business

This page has a list of the 10 best countries for doing business based in figures from the World Bank in May 2018. For companies looking to go global, or at least take their first steps in exporting and becoming an international business, an important consideration is how easy it is to trade with a target country.

RankCountryPopulation (M)Notes
1New Zealand4.5#1 for starting a business. English language.
2Singapore5.4Largely English-speaking. The 'Gateway to Asia' city-state. An 'Alpha+' Global City.
3Denmark5.6World's highest social mobility. 6th highest GDP per capita. Danish language.
4Rep. of Korea50.47th highest country for international trade. Around 50% of the population located in Seoul metropolitan area. Korean language.
5Hong Kong7.2Special administrative region of and 'Gateway to' China. Chinese and English as official languages.
6USA318.2World's largest economy. Highest number of first language English speakers.
7UK63.76th largest economy. Permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. English language.
8Norway5.14th highest GDP per capita. Norwegian language.
9Georgia4.5Located on crossroads of East Europe and West Asia. Georgian language.
10Sweden9.9Easy to get utilities and register a property.

The rankings above reflect an overall score given by the World Bank after being measured against the following criteria:

  • Starting a New Business
  • Paying of Taxes
  • Getting Credit
  • Trade Across Borders
  • Dealing with Construction Permits
  • Registration of Property
  • Protection of Investors
  • Enforcement of Contracts
  • Resolving Insolvency
  • Getting Electricity

Of course some of these criteria will be more important than others depending on the nature of your business. However, the overall top 10 countries for establishing and operating a local business have an environment that is set up to support commerce. This is most true of the two city-states at the top of the list, whose regulatory environments are set up to welcome global companies and allow their countries to be a commercial hub.

best countries for doing business

Other important information shown on the table above includes the population of these 10 countries, which in most cases will be an indicator of the size of potential market for a business entering the territory.

The notes section includes the main language(s) of each country, which for companies currently based in an English speaking country and looking to export, reminds that target countries that also have English as the main language will have less of a communication barrier.