Top Ten Best Countries For New Business Startups and Entrepreneurs

 

Most people live their whole lives in the country they were born in. And so it’s easy to see why most businesspeople base their operations in their home countries. But there are good reasons to look around the world and see if your business might be better located somewhere else.

What are some of the most important indicators that a country is good for business investment and growth? Is it all about the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Consumer Price Indices (CPI) or is it all about the kind of foreign investment policies that a government enacts?

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that it is about all the above and so much more.

The intricacies that go into making a country lucratively viable for business investment and another one simply bad for that kind of investment are deeply rooted in the basics of economics.

As a business leader, or at least someone interested in running a foreign business or investment, understanding some, if not all of these intricacies will put you in a better position to make the right investment decision. It will, at the very least, give you a clear indication of the best and worst countries for business.

 

Here are a few excellent reasons why you might consider going global:

  • You will diversify your markets and capture new customer bases
  • Going global could easily extend the sales life of your current products. Whatever product you have already established in your home country could very well be the next hot thing in a foreign land
  • You greatly reduce your dependence on your local market and spread the risk globally
  • It will teach you new methods of doing business, show you how to compete in more competitive markets and allow you to grow as a brand
  • It will allow you to better weather seasonal fluctuations. For example, if you have a product that sells very well in the winter and it is summer in your country, you could easily sell it in other countries that will be experiencing winter during that same period

But before you consider starting a business in a different country, you need to do your research. Find out what kind of cultural differences might make that market averse to your brand and products. Find out what kind of policies the government has against your particular brand of business and see if there is a viable potential for your business.

That is why we have compiled this list for you today; to show you which countries are the best in the world to start a business and which ones just don’t hold that much promise at the moment.

 

1. United Kingdom

GDP: $2.6 Trillion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 1.8%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $39,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 89%
  • Population: 66M
  • Unemployment: 4.9%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: -4.4%
  • Inflation: 0.7%

This country topped Forbes’ 2018 list of top countries to do business in. And with good reason!

They say numbers do not lie and as things stand, the United Kingdom, despite all that Brexit uncertainty, remains one of the best countries in which to start a business.

But apart from the beautiful economic indicator figures, other factors come into play; factors that propel the United Kingdom to the top. These include:

  • Ease of incorporating a company: In the UK, this can be done within an hour and will cost you £14 or about $20.
  • Tax benefits: The British government offers various tax-related benefits for founders, investors, and even employees that make the country quite attractive from a financial point of view.

Additionally, the UK has one of the lowest corporate tax rates among the G20 countries and as such is quite attractive to business investors.

 

 

2. Singapore

GDP: $313 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 2%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $56,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 113%
  • Population: 5.6M
  • Unemployment: 2.1%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 19%
  • Inflation: -0.5%

According to the World Bank, Singapore presents one of the healthiest environments to start a business. Apart from the excellent economic indicator figures shared above, the country also has the following going for it:

  • It is politically stable
  • It is one of the wealthiest in the world meaning the populace has a lot of disposable income
  • It has a strong labor force
  • It does not impose any dividend or capital gains taxes
  • It has many free trade agreements that open up huge markets
  • You can easily register and start your business online

Singapore also offers affordable airfare to her neighboring countries. This means that, as a business owner, you will have affordable access to other exploratory markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.

 

 

3. Norway

GDP: $399 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 1.1%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $75,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 36%
  • Population: 5.3M
  • Unemployment: 4.7%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 5%
  • Inflation: 3.6%

One of the best things about Norway is that communication with the government can reliably be done online. You can easily register a company, and you will also find that complying with tax laws in this country is a rather straightforward process.

Another added advantage of starting a business in Norway is the fact that they are a highly technologically advanced nation with a majority of Norwegians very willing to adapt, as well as pay, for new technology.

This means that you will easily find highly skilled labor especially in the fields of IT, design, finance and music technology.

Other things that make this nation one of the best for doing business include:

  • The populace is generally wealthy meaning they have a lot of disposable income
  • It is politically very stable
  • It has a well-developed communication and transport infrastructure
  • It is a big player in the EU and has long-standing trade ties with other EU nations

Norway is a very transparent country and has minimal levels of corruption. For these reasons, Norway makes a very attractive option for any straightforward business investor looking to build an honest business.

 

 

4. New Zealand

GDP: $211 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 3.6%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $44,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 33%
  • Population: 4.8M
  • Unemployment: 5.1%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: -2.8%
  • Inflation: 0.6%

Apart from the economic indicator figures given above, several other advantages make this nation an attractive destination for businesses:

  • It has a skilled labor force that is not too expensive
  • There are no payroll, capital gains or social security taxes involved
  • Incorporating a business takes a day while registering a property could take as little as two days

It also has a wealth of information readily available online through Statistics New Zealand that can help you run thorough research into whatever industry you would like to invest in. This immediately gives you an added advantage as you will get to learn about the culture, spending habits of the population and how well businesses in your niche are doing.

 

 

5. Hong Kong

GDP: $339 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 2%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $46,000
  • Population: 7.4M
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 4.6%
  • Unemployment: 2.7%
  • Inflation: 2.6%

Hong Kong’s economy has been growing steadily for the past few decades which is indicative of the practical and economically sound business policies being enacted by the region. As a free market economy, Hong Kong is highly dependent on international finance and trade.

It has a highly educated workforce and a brilliantly designed and constructed transport and communication infrastructure. Hong Kong’s economy has been doing so well that it has even established itself as the go-to stock market for Chinese companies that want to trade abroad.

On the other hand, because Hong Kong has limited natural resources, it imports almost everything from food to raw materials. This might sound a bit discouraging to budding industry titans, but remember that Hong Kong imposes no tariffs on imported goods save for four: hydrocarbon oil, hard alcohol, methyl alcohol, and tobacco.

 

 

6. Mexico

GDP: $1.1 Trillion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 2.3%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $8,500
  • Public Debt/GDP: 50%
  • Population: 129M
  • Unemployment: 3.9%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: -2.2%
  • Inflation: 2.8%

Considering the high crime rate in many parts of Mexico, not very many investors would immediately jump onto the idea of starting a business there. However, despite these challenges, Mexico still presents one of the best possible destinations in which to start a business.

This is mostly thanks to the extensive business registration reforms that have taken place in the country. These reforms have largely led to the increased registration of businesses overall.

It is now much easier to register and start a business in Mexico. It only takes about eight days to have your business up and legally running in the country.

Couple that with the fact that it has a ready and willing labor force that is considered affordable when compared to other countries in this list and you have Mexico as a wonderful destination overall.

It also has free trade agreements with 46 different nations thus opening enormous potential markets for any investors willing to take part in the large manufacturing-oriented economy.

 

 

7. Switzerland

GDP: $679 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 1.4%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $80,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 33%
  • Population: 8.5M
  • Unemployment: 3.3%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 10.5%
  • Inflation: -0.4%

With an unemployment rate of only 3.3%, a burgeoning economy and a notoriously stable political climate, Switzerland is without a doubt one of the best countries in the world for really anything except the tropical weather.

It has a highly skilled workforce that is ready and willing to work (although it may not be as affordable as it is in other countries on this list).

The country benefits from a highly developed service sector plus a manufacturing industry that has specialized in high-technology and knowledge-based production. It also has one of the world’s most sophisticated financial sectors which makes it perfect for safe, calculated and steady investment.

Apart from the excellent numbers indicating economic growth and prowess, Switzerland also has other factors that make it an attractive destination for starting a business. These include:

  • A very transparent legal system that is easy to navigate
  • Consistent economic and political stability
  • Low corporate taxes
  • Efficient capital markets
  • Exceptional communication and transport infrastructure

Plus, it is a trusted and valued member of the EU which opens up some of Europe’s most advanced and gigantic markets for investors.

 

 

8. CANADA

GDP: $1.6 Trillion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 1.5%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $43,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 99%
  • Population: 37M
  • Unemployment: 7%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: -3.3%
  • Inflation: 1.4%

Even though the Great White North has high living standards, the country has made impressive gains when it comes to its manufacturing, service and mining sectors. These gains have greatly helped to transform the nation from a largely rural economy into one that is primarily urban and industrialized.

It also has a huge oil and natural gas sector ranking it third in the world in oil reserves behind Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Canada enjoys extremely balanced bilateral trade with the US which opens up a huge market for business investors looking to tap into the US through Canada.

The country has a very stable political climate, excellent health care, and a substantially skilled labor force. All of these make it a lucrative destination for business investors looking to take advantage of the service or industrial sector.

 

9. Ireland

GDP: $330 Billion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 5.1%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $69,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 73%
  • Population: 4.8M
  • Unemployment: 7.9%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 3.3%
  • Inflation: -0.2%

This small, trade-dependent nation has a strong economy that has gone through the ringer in recent times but has come out stronger for it.

After officially exiting the EU-IMF bailout program that saw Ireland stabilize its economy through the economic crisis of 2007, the country has seen rapid economic growth. As such, the government has increased public spending and drastically lowered some taxes which is good news for business owners.

Since the collapse of the construction sector (thanks to the same economic crisis) Ireland has become increasingly dependent on exports for economic growth. This makes it one of the best destinations for any business owner looking to set up a manufacturing company geared towards export-goods production.

The country has a sizeable labor force despite its relatively small size; is experiencing an unprecedented period of economic growth (with GDP exceeding 26% growth in 2015) and is politically very stable.

 

10. Germany

GDP: $3.6 Trillion as of December 2017

A Quick Glance

  • GDP Growth: 1.9%
  • Per-Capita GDP: $43,000
  • Public Debt/GDP: 68%
  • Population: 83M
  • Unemployment: 4.2%
  • Trade Balance/GDP: 8.3%
  • Inflation: 0.4%

As one of the largest economies in the world and Europe’s largest, Germany is a wonderful investment destination and a leading exporter of vehicles, machinery, household equipment, and chemicals.

But the biggest selling point for this country is that it has a huge, highly-skilled and highly-educated labor force. Although this labor force is not as affordable as is the case in many countries on this list, there are many positives Germany offers.

But despite all that, the economy suffers from low levels of investment which makes it a ready and ripe market for foreign investors willing to take on the wages commanded by the available labor force.

As a member of the EU, Germany enjoys strict standards of manufacturing and production. Starting a business there will not only give you a chance to exploit the largely well-funded markets in the EU, but it will also give you an opportunity to raise your standards of production. Standardized across the board, this will give your brand a highly competitive edge in the global market.

 

Other Good Countries:

Depending upon how you define them, there are approximately 200 countries in the world. While these ten countries we’ve highlighted represent great opportunities, there are other wonderful countries. Where else should you look to start a new business?

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Denmark
  5. Estonia
  6. Malaysia
  7. Netherlands
  8. Sweden
  9. Taiwan
  10. USA

Political and economic stability are some of the things that make these countries the best to start a business in. They also largely have excellent governance with favorable policies that are not only welcoming to business investment but actually encourage innovation and entrepreneurship.

This, coupled with the availability of disposable income for the locals as well as favorable trade agreements with other, equally large markets in their regions, make them perfect for business investment.

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