Best Countries to Start a Business

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(Christophe Archambault/AFP/Getty Images)

In 2014, more than a quarter of new business registrations occurred in East Asian and Pacific nations, according to the World Bank.

Relatively low initial costs and streamlined procedures make countries in Asia attractive to entrepreneurs. In 2014, more than a quarter of new business registrations occurred in East Asian and Pacific nations, according to the World Bank.

Globally, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that “new enterprise creations have been on an upward trend,” though not quite back to levels seen before the financial crisis. Interest in large manufacturing enterprises has decreased while small service industry shops continue to pop up.

High levels of perceived bureaucracy in nations like Russia, Greece and Colombia brought them towards the bottom of the list. Nations in the Middle East also ranked poorly in the U.S. News Best Countries to Start a Business, with Saudi Arabia and Iran landing in the last two spots.

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No. 5: China

Starting a business in China takes about 30 days and costs less than 1 percent of the average income per capita, according to the World Bank. As part of the registration process, entrepreneurs must file their new business with a local career services center and have employment notices approved and published. Twice each decade, the National Development and Reform Commission releases a five-year plan that lays out economic goals that can help guide entrepreneurs toward industries the government hopes to grow. For 2016 through 2020, the focus is on innovation, especially in the science and technology sectors.

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No. 4: Canada

Starting a business in Canada takes no more than two days and costs less than 1 percent of the average income per capita, according to the World Bank. The entrepreneurship environment is considered stable, and, according to data from the government’sEntrepreneurship Indicators Database, about three-quarters of newly formed business survive for at least two years. Canada offers Start-up Visa and a Self-Employed Persons Program

for foreigners looking to establish a new business in the country.

 

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No. 3: Philippines

Starting a business in the Philippines takes about 29 days and costs 16.1 percent of the average income per capita, according to the World Bank. Though only slightly longer and more expensive than in other countries in the region, 16 independent procedures require entrepreneurs to connect with at least seven different agencies. According to thePhilippine Business Registry more than 75 percent of the 320,000 business name registrations in 2015 occurred in person with tellers as opposed to online.

 

(Joshua Paul/AP)

No. 2: Malaysia

Starting a business in Malaysia takes about four days and costs 6.7 percent of the average income per capita, according to the World Bank. Required paperwork that constitutes the majority of the new business registration process can be completed online through the Companies Commission of Malaysia’s website. Almost 50,000 new limited liability companies took advantage of these streamlined processes and were created in 2014.

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No. 1: Thailand

Starting a business in Thailand takes about 28 days and costs 6.4 percent of the average income per capita, according to the World Bank. New business density is one of the lowest in the region, leaving room for hopeful entrepreneurs. Though ranked as the second most affordable country to business decision makers, companies that are not majority Thai owned are subject to the Foreign Business Act, under which many endeavors that could attract entrepreneurs to Thailand are restricted, including rice manufacturing and tourism.

The 2016 Best Countries rankings, conducted in partnership with brand strategy firm BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, asked more than 16,000 survey participants from four regions to associate countries with specific attributes. The Best Countries to Start a Business are ranked based on scores from more than 4,000 business decision makers on a compilation of five equally weighted country attributes: affordable, bureaucratic, cheap manufacturing costs, connected to the rest of the world and provides easy access to capital.

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