10 countries with easiest business set-up procedures

UAE is ranked 60th in ease of starting a business and ranked 1st for ease in payment of business taxes

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You can set up a business in a single procedure that takes only half a day in New Zealand, which is ranked 1st in this list, followed by Macedonia

Based on the annual report titled Doing Business 2016 by the World Bank, these countries emerged in the top 10 for ease of starting a business. The parameters include, and are not limited to, the number of procedures, days for completion, cost and minimum paid-up capital required. The report analyses 189 economies on 11 parameters of business processes. 


CountryStepsDaysCostGNI per capita (US$)Net cost (US$)Net cost (Dirhams)
New Zealand10.5 day0.30%43,837131.511482.6
Macedonia11 day0.10%5,0705.0718.6
Canada21.5 days0.40%51,690206.76758.8
Hong Kong SAR, China21.5 days1.20%40,320483.841,775.7
Armenia23 days1.00%3,81038.1139.8
Georgia22 days3.10%3,720115.32423.2
Azerbaijan23 days1.20%7,59091.08334.3
Lithuania23.5 days0.60%15,38092.28338.7
Jamaica23 days5.00%5,042252.1925.2
Singapore32.5 days0.60%55,150330.91,214.4

Note: Cost figures are shown as per cent of per capita income of each economy, which is calculated by dividing the Gross National Income (GNI) of the economy by the country's population.

1. New Zealand

With just one procedure and half a day for the business start-up to be completed, New Zealand ranks 1st in the ease of starting a new business. From last year, they reduced the time taken for getting an electricity connection to 58 days.

2. Republic of Macedonia

Like New Zealand, Macedonia also has just one procedure to start a business, but requires one day to complete the process making it the second fastest procedure in the world. From last year, Macedonia has improved upon its start-up time as well as its protection of minority investors.

3. Canada

Canada comes third in the world ranking with two procedures to be completed in one and a half days. The year 2015 saw Canada in second place, which has been taken by Macedonia in 2016.

4. Hong Kong SAR, China

Hong Kong SAR, China ranks fourth in the rankings with the same timeline as Canada with two procedures to be completed in one and a half days. The difference, however, is in the cost of set up which is 1.2 per cent of per capita income in Hong Kong, while for Canada it is at 0.4 per cent.

5. Armenia

In Armenia, setting up a business involves two steps completed over three days. It has dropped from third place in 2015.

6. Georgia

Georgia requires two procedures to be completed in two days, but the cost of set up is relatively high at 3.1 per cent of per capita income.

7. Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan has come up four ranks this year to occupy the seventh position and business set-up here involves two steps to be completed over three days at a cost of 1.2 per cent of per capita income. Improvements have been made in dealing with construction permits and protecting minority investors.

8. Lithuania

The business set up process here takes 3.5 days and has two procedures. The cost involved is 0.6 per cent of per capita income. Lithuania made starting a business easier by introducing online VAT registration and also introduced enforcement of legal time limit for electricity connection works.

9. Jamaica

Jamaica could be better ranked as it has only two procedures to be completed in three days, but it has a relatively high set-up cost at 5 per cent of per capita income. Apart from reforms in starting business and dealing in construction permits, Jamaica also introduced easier insolvency procedures.

10. Singapore

In the 10th position, Singapore has three set-up procedures, which can be completed in 2.5 days. The ranking has come down significantly and the report shows no new reforms taken by Singapore.


UAE: Rank 60

UAE ranks 60th in ease of starting a business with six procedures to be completed in 8 days. The rank has seen a slight drop from the 57th spot in 2015. Cost of set up is calculated at 6.2 per cent of per capita income, which comes up to approximately Dh9893.

UAE is ranked 1st in payment of taxes as businessmen only require 12 hours to complete their tax payments. 

For 2016, UAE has made some reforms in order to make business easier.  

1. UAE made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining the process of obtaining civil defense approval.

2. Protection of minority investors has been prioritised and subsidiary companies are not allowed to acquire shares of the parent company. If a potential acquirer reaches 50% or more of the capital of a company, they are required to make a purchase offer to all shareholders.

3. UAE introduced a new case management office for enforcing contracts within the competent court. The ‘Smart Petitions’ service allows litigants to file and track motions online.

4. Time taken to get an electricity connection has been reduced.


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