As globalization becomes an increasingly important trend in the business world, finding the right country to conduct business in may seem like a difficult task. However, it could be easier than you think. The International Finance Corporation, an organization under the World Bank, develops an index to rank 183 countries based on their ease of doing business. The country rankings depend on nine different percentile categories including: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and closing a business.

Here is the list of the top ten countries:

1. Singapore
2. Hong Kong
3. New Zealand
4. United Kingdom
5. United States
6. Denmark
7. Canada
8. Norway
9. Ireland
10. Australia

Singapore, one of the world’s fastest-growing economies this year, tops the list with the most business-friendly regulations. A company can begin conducting business in less than three days making Singapore an ideal place for new businesses operations. Singapore’s government has also established additional tax incentives for certain industries including legal services, finance, shipbroking, and maritime financing. Alongside tax reductions, technology plays a tremendous role in enhancing Singapore’s ease of business ranking. Authorities in Singapore have been one of the most aggressive adopters of information technology to post business processes, such as import and export details, online. All of these factors contribute to Singapore’s success in doing business and are a main reason why Singapore has topped the list five straight years.

Other countries on the list are making an effort to improve their rankings by implementing new reforms and procedures. Countries deemed easiest to do business often have electronic procedures, as in the United Kingdom where commercial court filing can now be done online. Countries in Asia are beginning to adopt electronic procedures making these countries the most active in taking business-friendly measures. Hong Kong retains its high ranking through business reforms including the abolishment of fuel tax on diesel and civil justice improvements. Its one-stop online service for business registration and incorporation has been one of Hong Kong’s most significant reforms. Hong Kong’s success is a good example of the bright future for other countries in Asia looking to enhance their ease of business ranking.

As doing business abroad becomes easier and more effective, the world will become the marketplace for many companies. The international business landscape benefits greatly from each country’s improvement in creating a business-friendly environment and the good news is these improvements will certainly continue.

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