Top 10 countries for start-ups

Home > Ask the Guidance Counselor > Top 10 countries for start-ups

Dear Mr. Greechie,

I want to start a business abroad, but I'm not sure where. I can analyze the market in each country I'm considering, but I need to know about government regulation. I've heard that compliance is very demanding in some places. What countries are best in terms of business regulation? Would a course in international business help me? Will I need an entrepreneur license in other countries?

And I really like your blog!

KC in Pascagoula, Mississippi

Dear KC:

It sounds like some coursework in international business is just what you need! I'll teach you about import/export, labor laws, and all the other relevant regulations.

For the entrepreneur, a license translates to registration. Be sure to be thorough in registering your business. No other entrepreneur license is necessary. The World Bank produces an annual report called Doing Business that focuses on business regulation. While it doesn't mention an entrepreneur license, it provides a thorough discussion of regulatory demands around the globe, country by country. The latest edition was released last November.

Doing Business 2011 reports that the regulatory climate for small enterprises has been improving worldwide for the past several years. Most countries have made it easier for an entrepreneur to start and operate a business. Much of this improvement is due to new technologies that make compliance easier and less expensive.

Most developing economies have amended business regulation in the past year, particularly India and China. Still, the most appealing countries are not surprisingly the most affluent, and most of these have been making regulation more entrepreneur-friendly.

Analysis of the report shows the following countries in the top 10:

1) Singapore
This is the third year that Singapore is in the number one spot. It offers low import and export costs, as well as the fastest time for resolving commercial disputes in the world. There is no minimum wage there, and some companies undoubtedly exploit this lack unfairly.

2) New Zealand
Start-up time is minimal in N.Z.: You can register a company in 24 hours, and register with the tax man at the same time. You can register property in two days, which is quicker than anywhere else.

3) the United States
In the U.S., labor laws favor the employer, offering the worker little protection. You can start a business quickly, and there are strong protections for investors.

4) Hong Kong
Hong Kong is known for low import/export costs. Administrative time is minimal: You can pay taxes, get credit and enforce contracts very quickly.

5) Denmark
There's no fee to register a company in Denmark, and it takes only six days. Import/export costs are low, and labor laws are lax from the worker's point of view.

6) the United Kingdom
Access to credit is easy in the U.K., and credit is carefully regulated. What's more, the government has recently increased corporate transparency requirements.

7) Ireland
You can start a business in Ireland in less than two weeks and bankruptcy/reorganization proceedings are even quicker. Tax payments are simple, as well.

8 ) Canada
It takes only a single online procedure to start a business in Canada. It's also simple to reorganize or liquidate. What's more, the corporate tax rate was reduced a few years ago.

9) Australia
Down under, you'll find quick credit and protection for both lenders and borrowers. Register a business in two procedures in two days.

10) Norway
In this Scandinavian country, it's less expensive to reorganize or liquidate a business than anywhere else in the world. Registering property and enforcing a contract can be done quite speedily.

Of course, for big business or for the entrepreneur, a license is required to do business in certain industries wherever the company is located. Be sure to explore what sort of permission your business would need before you make your final decision.

And one more thing: when you take courses in marketing, be sure to pay special attention to cultural differences between countries. They make a huge difference in promotion, and they can be very subtle.

Browse Online Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            1 Program(s) Found

            Why Choose Widener University?

            At Widener University, we proudly cultivate challenging and culturally diverse learning environments where academics, leadership, and service come first. Our curricula are connected to societal issues and challenge students to take social responsibility for their role in today's global society.

            Founded in 1821 in Chester, Pennsylvania, Widener is nationally recognized for our commitment to civic engagement, service, and social responsibility. The university has been included on the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction every year since its inception in 2006.

            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Helps students advance their education with a graduate degree, including a Doctor of Education, Executive MBA, and more.
            • Home of the Harold D. Buckingham Graduate School, which offers flexible study options for master’s programs in business, management, and nursing.
            • Students may choose online or on-campus programs to better accommodate their work or personal schedules.
            • Programs are designed to help students take what they learn in class and apply it at work the next day.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            Abilene Christian University (ACU), founded in 1906 and affiliated with the Church of Christ, has a long and proud heritage dedicated to educating students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world. Instructors teach students how to think critically and globally in each of their respective programs, while still maintaining a focus on their particular program of study. ACU is an academically notable institution top ranked by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges", as well as The Princeton Review and Forbes.

            Abilene Christian University offers a number of innovative graduate programs which are unique in their focus for preparing graduates to take on leadership roles in a variety of settings. While the curriculum is faith-based, it has universal applications that students find useful when entering the competitive workforce. If you are looking for a new opportunity to help you meet challenges and become a leader, then look no further. ACU's programs offer the opportunity to gain personal achievement, career fulfillment and the chance to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your fellow students and our faculty and staff.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Our Lady of the Lake University is a private, Catholic university with a deep connection to the history and community of San Antonio. Founded in 1895 by the Congregation of Divine Providence, we have developed a reputation for our personal teaching style. Since 2011, OLLU has been named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.  We are a university that helps students develop their full potential in an environment that's encouraging and stimulating.


            • Online Courses
            4 Program(s) Found

            Purdue University offers a strong foundation of tradition and history, an environment of intellectual curiosity and discovery, and a supportive, student-centered approach to learning. Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math. Our goal is to educate and develop men and women of personal integrity and scholarly excellence.

            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Dedicated career services team that helps students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary
            • Program Coordinators focus on improving program content and ensure that students have the resources they need
            • Over 50 locations nationwide
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Features career programs in surgical technology, professional fitness trainer, vocational nursing, and an associate of science program in health administration.
            • Offers career assistance and advising services to students and graduates.
            • Campus is close to many attractions in Glendale, California, including the Los Angeles Zoo, Universal Studios, Alex Theater, and downtown Los Angeles.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Part of the Success Education Colleges (SEC) group of schools.
            Show more [+]
            1 Program(s) Found

            Complete Your Bachelor's Degree 100% Online


            Portland State University’s online Bachelor’s in Criminology and Criminal Justice program is designed to produce more than graduates. It’s designed to create CCJ leaders. With a program taught by the same faculty as our on-campus program and delivered on a 100% online platform, our students receive the same level of support and education from instructors and academic advisors whether they are on our Portland campus or miles away.

            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found

            Online programs to fit your schedule.

            You’ve expressed interest in Blue Cliff College before, now we have online programs to better fit your busy lifestyle. Enroll now!

            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Began in 1909 as a single classroom in Los Angeles.
            • Offers no-cost dental clinic in Anaheim, where students gain experience by offering a selection of free dental services.
            • Involved in philanthropy, through partnerships with several organizations, such as the California Institute for Nursing and Healthcare (CINHC) and Shriner’s Hospital.
            • Accredited by The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission.
            • Has 4 California campuses and 2 other campuses in Florida and Texas.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits