With the vast majority of businesses now able to operate globally, there’s no longer any real limit to where you choose to set up your company’s main headquarters.

However, your company’s location can have a huge impact on how quickly your company gets running, and it’s overall success – which is why choosing from the top countries in the world primed for launching a successful business is key. World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ report analyses 190 countries based on a number of factors, including starting a business, getting a location, accessing finances, day-to-day operations, and operating in a secure business environment. Here, MoneyTransfers.com have used that data to find the top 10 best places to start a business, as well as the top countries rated for the initial process of starting up a business i.e. the procedures required, time to set up, costs etc.

It’s no surprise that New Zealand once again claimed the top spot for ease of doing business. The country is ranked as the number one best place to start a business – in fact, some businesses can be registered and set up as a limited company in just one day. Other factors the country also ranks highly for are registering a property, protecting minority investors, and getting credit.

Second on the list is Singapore, closely followed by Hong Kong – two of the best cities for business. Singapore, well known for it’s efficiency and global positioning, ranks highly as one of the best places to open a business, enforcing contracts, and protecting minority investors, while Hong Kong is ranked as the top country for dealing with construction permits.

Other countries featured on the list include South Korea(5th), US (6th), Georgia (7th) and the UK (8th).

Top countries ranked for getting a business up and running

While the data from World Bank reflects the top countries for doing business, one of the factors countries are ranked on is starting a business from scratch. This factor considers items such as the time it may take to set up a limited company, the number of procedures required, cost etc.

Once again, New Zealand ranks as number one for this category, with businesses able to register as a limited company is as little as half a day! Taking the second and third spots for this factor are Georgia and Singapore.

However, while these three might be the most efficiency when it comes to launching a business, it’s worth taking in to consideration the day-to-day running of your business once it’s off the ground, which is where the original top 10 come in.

Why do Scandinavian countries rank so highly for operating businesses?

Interestingly, out of the 10 countries ranked as best for launching and operating a business, three of the best places for business are Scandinavian. So, why is this subregion of Europe such a desirable location for businesses? 

These nations are known for having high living standards, a well-educated workforce, and a free-market economy with one of the most generous welfare systems in the world, providing employees with excellent free healthcare, substantial parental leave and pension contributions, and holiday entitlement, subsidised by the relatively high taxation model the country has in place. All these factors make the region some of the best places to live for entrepreneurs, both in terms of business opportunities and work-life balance.

What’s more, the three Scandinavian countries listed have a capitalist economy that “encourages creative destruction“, meaning they have laws in place that enable companies to implement innovative business models with input from employees at every level.

In addition, “the Nordics also enjoy a particular style of education which focuses on problem-solving and critical thinking”, Entrepreneur states. Providing a well educated and creative workforce has therefore enabled the small creative start ups launched in this region to thrive with input from employees on every level.

Ultimately, where you launch your business and base your headquarters to expand and grow your company depends on your goals. While factors such as efficient set up procedures and favourable tax benefits are of course key considerations for where to base yourself, so are extenuating conditions such as the industry you will be operating within, your key target market, and who you will be hiring.

“Choosing where to launch your company can have a huge impact on the success of your business, so ranks like these are instrumental tools for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses alike”, says Jonathan Merry, CEO of MoneyTransfers.

“With the global economy changing at such a rapid pace, it’s important to stay aware of which countries are adapting for businesses to continue to operate efficiently and successfully, and which are not”.