Where Are the Best & Worst Countries to Do Business?

If you’re planning on going abroad and setting up a business, one of the first things you will have to do is decide on a destination. You may already have somewhere in mind, perhaps somewhere with a beach, palm trees and year-round sunshine. If so, it’s worth stopping and spending some time researching destinations in detail before you buy your plane ticket.


Because different countries have very different practices for doing business. Whether it is the ease of setting up a business, or the conditions for carrying out a business in the country, everywhere is different. In fact, some countries seem to go out of their way to make it as difficult as possible.

There are a number of different resources published that look into the best and worst countries for doing business, so here is a quick look at a few of them.

English: Data source: Ease of Doing Business I...

The Best Countries for Business

Forbes publishes a list of the best countries to do business every year, and the latest one can be found here. The top 10 countries in the list are:

  1. Ireland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Denmark
  5. Sweden
  6. Finland
  7. Singapore
  8. Canada
  9. Norway
  10. The Netherlands

CNN has written about the latest figures from The World Bank here, and these countries focus on the countries that are best for starting a business. The top 10 are:

  1. New Zealand
  2. Australia
  3. Canada
  4. Singapore
  5. Macedonia
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Georgia
  8. Rwanda
  9. Belarus
  10. Ireland

There are a few surprises here. For example, you may not have been expecting to see Rwanda on the list.

Although it may not be the easiest place to do business, it turns out that Rwanda is a very easy place to start a business, requiring only that you register it (which is free online). You will then receive your certificate in under three days.

The Worst Countries for Business

CNBC published a list of the worst countries to do business, which you can find here. It focuses on the 50 biggest economies in the world, and takes its information from the  ‘Ease of Doing Business’ study from the World Bank. The 10 worst places on the list are:

  1. Argentina
  2. Russia
  3. Brazil
  4. Indonesia
  5. India
  6. Nigeria
  7. Philippines
  8. Algeria
  9. Ukraine
  10. Venezuela

Another similar list was published by Business Insider, which you can find here. It took its data from the ‘Grant Thornton Global Dynamism Index’, and the worst 10 places on the list are:

  1. Indonesia
  2. Columbia
  3. Russia
  4. South Africa
  5. Portugal
  6. Egypt
  7. Greece
  8. Nigeria
  9. Venezuela

Always Research Your Destination First

It can be tempting to decide upon a destination based upon the quality of life or even the weather, but if you are planning to start your own business, it really makes sense to research the reality of doing business in the country first. Countries vary so much in how easy they make it to do business, so it makes sense to know what you are letting yourself in for before you leave home.

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