13 Best Countries to Start a Business in 2022

Updated Sep 12, 2022.
Best Countries to Start a Business

Successful entrepreneurs share essential characteristics and skills. Beyond having the right entrepreneurial mindset, the location of your business plays a huge role in determining your business’ failure or success.

Your business location is a major decision you do not want to take in a hurry without doing the needed research. Investors consider the location of your business as a major factor for investment.

Choosing the best country in the world to start a business requires you to check whether its social and political conditions are favorable for your business growth.

Countries have different tax rates, business climates, and legal and regulatory requirements; they may differ within countries. The rule of law and education systems are crucial in supporting entrepreneurship. Ignoring these factors is a recipe for disaster.

This article reveals 13 of the best business-friendly countries for launching start-ups.

In choosing from the list of countries available to you to set up your legal entity or business overseas, you need to weigh your options of what the best and worst countries offer and how it suits your business needs.

Most businesses and organizations avoid countries with unstable political conditions, such as a civil war or an oppressive non-business-friendly government.

Thanks to globalization, you can build an online business from any location. Your options are extensive beyond your country of residence or birth. Modern software tools like team communication tools allow you to run a remote and global team.

Five country attributes to consider when choosing the best country to locate your legal entity include:

1. Low Taxes

Tax benefits contribute primarily to how conducive and appealing a country's business environment would seem to new businesses and minority investors.

Many countries usually opt for capital gains taxes as they reduce their marginal tax rates to spur economic growth. The idea is for this policy to increase the after-tax income available to its strong labor force to be spent back on the country's economy by buying goods and services.

Places with lowest corporate tax rates in 2020
Source: Cnbc

2. Secure Legal Framework

Your final decision among the best countries to start a business should reflect a thoughtful consideration of how secure the legal framework of your last judgment on the nation is.

A legal framework is designed to establish entitlements clearly and transparently. It allows you to make claims and seek redress in cases where you can prove that your rights have been violated with the sole condition that you were previously entitled to the claimed benefit.

Privacy Laws Around the Globe
Source: Enzuzo

3. Proximity to Customers, Employees, and Investors

The strategic location of your new business needs to be chosen based on how close it is to your customer base, skilled workers, and natural resources, among other factors.

With proximity to these criteria, your new business is poised for economic growth in your specific industry and gain on the needed market size.

4. Level of Personal Freedom

Freedom comes at a cost, and this is often so, especially when you find yourself in a country that is not your home country.

The easiest countries to start a business are characterized by the relatively easy access it affords both majority and minority business owners to operate without fear of being targeted.

A politically stable environment is one of the critical drivers of this level of personal freedom. Political stability goes a long way in affecting the economic progress of a country.

Which Countries are Open for Business
Source: Statista

5. Fast Effective Decision Making

One of the significant characteristics that associate the worst countries with starting a business is how long it takes for a decision to be made and reflected due to the high bureaucracy of such countries.

Minor issues such as registering property or seeking construction permits from the government can be the decider in how fast new businesses can make effective decisions.

The low level of bureaucracy that characterizes the best countries to start a business would likely provide room for fast and effective decisions without fear of interference as there are guaranteed political stability.

Where it's Easiest to Do Business
Source: Statista

Best Countries to Start a Business in 2022

Although many emerging markets are attractive for starting an online business, the best places to start a business remain development markets in Western Europe, Asia, and North America.

The best countries for launching a business in 2022 with crucial statistics to back the claim include:

1. The United Arab Emirates (UAE)

Maps of The United Arab Emirates
Source: Worldatlas

UAE is the fifth largest economy in the Middle East and the second largest in the Arab Spring.

This country’s revenue is largely dependent on petroleum and natural gas sales proceedings, with tourism being its largest non-oil source of income due to the boom experienced in the construction sector.

UAE is quickly becoming one of the top countries for innovative software businesses, web designers, and online marketers.

Statistics

GDP: $358.87 Billion
GDP Growth: -6.1%
Per-Capita GDP: $36,284.6
Public Debt/GDP: 33.3%
Population: Over 9.9M
Unemployment: 3.4%
Trade Balance/GDP: -5.48%
Inflation: -2.1%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • No Taxation: The UAE offers the most favorable tax laws in its Arab region, with a no taxation law for both personal and corporate taxes on almost all types of business, with exceptions in some industries, such as international banks and hotels.
  • Strategic Location: UAE is located between Europe, Asia, and Africa, which opens it up to enormous trading opportunities with its mega airport that daily plays host to transporting large numbers of goods and people.
  • Dubai Free Zones: The Gulf Tiger offers a tax-free designated area where foreigners can go about their business freely without needing a local emirate partner or agent.
  • Zero Restrictions on Repatriation of Profits: With the UAE, there are no restrictions on your capital and profits, as you are free to do whatever with your business funds.

2. Singapore

Community Development Councils Map of Singapore
Source: Worldatlas

The economy of Singapore operates as a free-market economy. Singapore offers a business-friendly environment to private and publicly state-owned companies.

According to the Ease of Doing Business Report by the World Bank, Singapore is one of the best countries to start a business.

Statistics

GDP: $396.99 Billion
GDP Growth: 7.6%
Per-Capita GDP: $72,794
Public Debt/GDP: 109.1%
Population: Over 5.4M
Unemployment: 3.6%
Trade Balance/GDP: 13.72%
Inflation: 2.3%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Strong Labor Force: Singapore has one of the most skilled hands in the labor market through its extensive investment in its educational sector and skills programs for its populace.
  • Low Tax Rates: 17% is the corporate tax rate in Singapore, which is among the lowest in the world, with a low-income tax between 0% to 22%.
  • Excellent Legal Framework: Singapore uses English common law for its legal framework making it one of the most business-friendly environments to start a business.
  • Ease of Doing Business: The country is known for encouraging entrepreneurship through its programs that finance entrepreneurs and startups by providing easy access to financial advisors and capital.

3. United States

USA States Colored Map
Source: Mappr

The United States has one of the largest economies in the world, which the country attributes to its free market economy.

America focuses on artificial intelligence to drive innovation and job creation, making it the world's most technologically robust and innovative economy with abundant natural resources.

Statistics

GDP: $23 Trillion
GDP Growth: 5.7%
Per-Capita GDP: $69,287.5
Public Debt/GDP: 99.1%
Population: Over 331.8M
Unemployment: 5.5%
Trade Balance/GDP: 1.8%
Inflation: 4.7%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Stable Political Environment: The U.S's stable political environment makes it one of the best countries to consider starting a business. It offers relative ease of business operations.
  • Access to New Markets: With trade partnerships with over 20 countries, the U.S provides a marketing advantage to U.S based businesses.
  • Technological Advancements: America offers startups access to advanced and cutting-edge technological innovations to further enhance their business operations.
  • Availability of Skilled Workers: With over 4,000 colleges and universities in the habit of constantly grooming and producing freshly baked skilled hands, there is no limit to the skilled workforce available in the United States.
  • Startup Ecosystems: Silicon Valley is the most popular startup ecosystem in the United States. Many states and cities, such as Miami, Los Angeles, and Miami, have their own startup ecosystems.

4. India

Political Map of India
Source: Mapsofindia

The Indian economy is a developing middle-income economy that faced a significant turnaround after the cold war that led to the adoption of a comprehensive economic liberal plan.

With its young population and relatively low dependency ratio, the future looks bright for India as an option to start your new business.

Statistics

GDP: $3.17 Trillion
GDP Growth: 8.9%
Per-Capita GDP: $2,277.4
Public Debt/GDP: 50.3%
Population: Over 1.39B
Unemployment: 6.0%
Trade Balance/GDP: 43.68%
Inflation: 5.1%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Large Market: India, with its large populace of a billion, is a good location for your startup. There is always a large target audience for your business, mainly due to its young population attracting willing investors from around the world.
  • Business Friendly Laws: This Asian country has passed several essential and investor-based bills tailored to help give startups a headstart in their respective industries.
  • Low Operational Cost: India has cheap manufacturing costs ranging from infrastructure to labor to various factors and equipment required to start a business.
  • Government Initiatives: The Indian government, over the years, has taken concise and intentional steps to make India attractive for investors and startup businesses. They have launched many initiatives and policies to promote a conducive environment for foreign investments.

5. Philippines

Philippines Map
Source: Infoplease

The Philippine economy is one of the best-emerging markets in Southeast Asia.

This Southeast Asian country focuses mainly on industrialization, with the bulk of its GDP exporting a wide range of finished products, primarily semiconductors, electronics, transport equipment, and agricultural produce.

Statistics

GDP: $394.09 Billion
GDP Growth: 5.7%
Per-Capita GDP: $3,548.8
Public Debt/GDP: 43.4%
Population: Over 111M
Unemployment: 2.4%
Trade Balance/GDP: 68.62%
Inflation: 3.9%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Strategic Business Location: The Philippines being at the center of the Asian continent and the crossroad between the Eastern and Western business worlds, is uniquely positioned to help your emerging startups grow.
  • Business Friendly Economy: This country runs an open economy with a free hand for foreign business owners to operate freely in the country. The government initiative for foreign business owners is envied and emulated by other countries in the region.
  • Hospitality: The Philippines is a tropical country with favorable weather conditions poised to be the best fit for your startups. At the same time, its citizens are very open to foreigners and their wide variety of cultural differences.
  • Infrastructural Development: The Pearl of the Orient Seas has a wide array of well-developed infrastructure, especially in the communication, transportation, and financial industry, that helps to make it readily accessible both by air and water, which further attracts foreign interests.

6. Switzerland

Switzerland's economy is among the most highly developed free-market economies in the world, which is notable for its service sector.

Being a landlocked country does not limit Switzerland's economy in any way, as the Swiss banking industry and tourism are the two main sectors that contribute the most to its GDP.

Statistics

GDP: $812.87 Billion
GDP Growth: 3.7%
Per-Capita GDP: $93,457.4
Public Debt/GDP: 19.0%
Population: Over 8.6M
Unemployment: 5.3%
Trade Balance/GDP: 81.64%
Inflation: 0.6%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Stable Environment: The Playground of Europe offers a uniquely durable and supportive business environment that you can take advantage of to develop your startup business.
  • Taxation: Switzerland's tax structure is relatively lower than its other European counterparts, making it stand out in the region as the preferred option for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business.
  • Funding and Government Support: Finance entrepreneurs' business ideas are particularly evident in the Swiss economy, with the government taking a more proactive role through a series of initiatives to make Switzerland a hub for foreign investors.
  • Support Networks: Switzerland being home to 15 of the 500 fortune companies and a wide array of global banks and companies across diverse sectors, offers unique partnership options to emerging startups seeking to partner with big corporations.

7. Panama

Provinces Of Panama Map
Source: Worldatlas

The Panama economy is service-based, with the service sector accounting for more than 80% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product.

Panama, the first foreign country to adopt the U.S Dollars in 1903, has since grown to be among the best countries to start a business.

Statistics

GDP: $63.61 Billion
GDP Growth: 15.3%
Per-Capita GDP: $14,516.5
Public Debt/GDP: 58.43%
Population: Over 4.3M
Unemployment: 12.1%
Trade Balance/GDP: 63.96%
Inflation: 1.6%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Low Barrier to Entry: Panama isolates new business owners from the bureaucracy that constantly comes with getting your startup running, making it easy for you to incorporate your new business and get it up and running within two weeks.
  • Zero Income Tax on Overseas Profits: Income obtained from outside Panama is not subjected to income tax, which is why most new businesses constantly seek to incorporate their business in Panama.
  • Thriving Startup Ecosystems: Panama is one of many Latin American countries, putting the region on the global map with its wide range of industry options for you to consider incorporating your startup.
  • Stable Government: The republic of Panama is not subject to the political instability that characterizes the Latin American region. Its strong government regulations have ensured businesses abide by the country's laws.

8. Cyprus

Cyprus Map Europe
Source: Mapsofworld

The Cyprus economy is a high-income economy and has continued to grow since the notorious Cypriot financial crisis that plagued the country between 2012-2013.

A member of the European Union, Cyprus has now built itself to be one of the best countries to start a business in this present time and age.

Statistics

GDP: $27.72 Billion
GDP Growth: 5.5%
Per-Capita GDP: $30,798.5
Public Debt/GDP: 103.6%
Population: Over 1.2M
Unemployment: 6.1%
Trade Balance/GDP: -147.48%
Inflation: 2.4%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Business Environment: Cyprus is a developed country with a high standard of living. It is the best fit for startups to get their business operations as the environment is suitable and geared towards helping startups run successfully in Cyprus.
  • Favorable Tax Regime: With its low corporate tax at 12.5%, Cyprus has been and will still be one of the go-to options for offshore companies seeking to establish a ready tax base.
  • Full Member of the European Union: Cyprus, an island nation, has been an active member of the EU since it joined in 2004 and the Eurozone in 2008, and so by good benefits from the EU free movement of people, goods, and services among member countries initiative.
  • Strategic Geographical Location: Cyprus is uniquely located on the world's map as it finds its way between the crossroads of 3 continents, acting as an extended route for the EU in the Middle East.

9. Bulgaria

Bulgaria political map
Source: 123rtf

The Bulgarian economy operates as free market money with a relatively large private sector to its small public sector. Bulgaria’s currency, the Lev, is the strongest and most stable in Eastern Europe.

Bulgaria is a vital member of the European Union and other global world bodies.

Statistics

GDP: 80.27 Billion
GDP Growth: 4.2%
Per-Capita GDP: $11,635
Public Debt/GDP: 28.83%
Population: Over 6.8M
Unemployment: 5.4%
Trade Balance/GDP: -15.62%
Inflation: 3.3%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Stable Economic Environment: Bulgaria has a stable environment for your startups and has not seen any significant impediment other than the pandemic that greatly affected even the wealthiest nations.
  • Favorable Taxes: Bulgaria's corporate and individual tax rate is pegged at 10%, one of the lowest in Europe.
  • Low Labor Costs: Bulgaria's labor force, being highly skilled, also charges a relatively lower labor cost than other countries in Europe, especially in the IT sector.
  • Low Cost of Living: Starting a business in Bulgaria is an advantage to startups as they do not need to deal with extravagant high standards of living that usually characterize living in other European countries.

10. South Korea

Maps of South Korea
Source: World Atlas

South Korea has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. Despite its cold war with North Korea, the South Korean economy has continued to show great strides in economic growth and development.

Statistics

GDP: $1.8 Trillion
GDP Growth: 4.0%
Per-Capita GDP: $34,757.7
Public Debt/GDP: 38.1%
Population: Over 51.7M
Unemployment: 3.5%
Trade Balance/GDP: 79.77%
Inflation: 2.5%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Outstanding Infrastructure: South Korea has a well-planned and designed transport network making it easy for you to go about your day-to-day business activities with the utmost ease and satisfaction.
  • Geographical Location: The Great People's Nation is close to Japan and China and within reach of more than 60 cities, making it uniquely positioned to conduct business and trading activities freely.
  • Intelligent Customers: South Korea should be on your consideration list if you plan to set up a limited liability company. It offers bulk savvy local consumers great taste and appreciation for top-quality goods and services.
  • Government Incentives: The South Korean government has actively ensured the country is conducive enough for startups to flourish, evident in its free trade zone policy to accommodate entrepreneurs across various sectors of the economy.

11. Germany

German economy Map
Source: Infoplease

The German economy is one of the largest economies in Europe, which allows innovative manufacturing techniques to flourish.

Germany remains one of the largest exporters globally, especially in the IT sector, with a large inflow of innovative software businesses.

Statistics

GDP: $4.22 Trillion
GDP Growth: 2.9%
Per-Capita GDP: $50,801.8
Public Debt/GDP: 70.21%
Population: Over 83.1M
Unemployment: 3.5%
Trade Balance/GDP: 81.11%
Inflation: 3.1%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Great Startup Ecosystem: Germany offers a vibrant ecosystem in Munich, Berlin, and Hamburg. It is a global leader in technology, eCommerce, and IT sectors, making it a solid base to establish a business.
  • Investment Incentives: The European giant offers various grants to finance entrepreneurs, notably its cash and research and development grants, which provide businesses with unique investment opportunities.
  • Large Consumer Market: Germany's large populace and unique geographical location at the center of the European Union provide unique opportunities for startups.
  • Commitment to Innovation: The European country ranks among the top 10 innovative countries in the world. Germany is one of the countries to have embraced artificial intelligence. Munich’s high-tech economy relies heavily on science and technology to spur economic growth and development.

12. New Zealand

Maps of New Zealand
Source: World Atlas

New Zealand’s economy is a highly developed free market economy. It is among the best countries to start a business due to its relatively large GDP for its population.

The large island nation of New Zealand is notable for protecting minority investors as it depends mainly on international trade for its revenue.

Statistics

GDP: $249.99 Billion
GDP Growth: 4.6%
Per-Capita GDP: $48,801.7
Public Debt/GDP: 42.2%
Population: Over 5.1M
Unemployment: 4.1%
Trade Balance/GDP: 44%
Inflation: 3.9%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Conducive Economic Environment: Despite its small size, New Zealand has grown past its limitations in establishing itself as one of the best countries to start a business, offering economic stability and potential for business growth.
  • Supportive Startup Community: Diving into the business world, especially in an entirely new location, often requires a level of support to get your business up and running. New Zealand has identified this vulnerability and provided a community of like-minded entrepreneurs to ease you into the business world.
  • Favorable Tax System: The Oceanic country offers a good tax system to fresh entrepreneurs through its concession and rebate initiatives to get you to a flying start.
  • Straightforward Legal System: New Zealand distances itself from the bureaucracy and legal restrictions that characterize the worst countries when starting a new business by offering ease and convenience in filling out the relevant paperwork.

13. Great Britain

Maps of The United Kingdom
Source: World Atlas

The British economy is a developed market-oriented and social economy running as a global economy dominated by the service sector.

Great Britain prides itself on the fact that it trades with the members of the European Union and other allies across the globe.

Statistics

GDP: $3.19 Trillion
GDP Growth: 7.4%
Per-Capita GDP: $47,334.4
Public Debt/GDP: 113.8%
Population: Over 67.3M
Unemployment: 4.5%
Trade Balance/GDP: 56.43%
Inflation: 2.5%

Favorable Business Conditions

  • Ease of Doing Business: Great Britain is one of the most accessible places to start and conduct business operations, with several unique opportunities for entrepreneurs to exploit.
  • Robust Infrastructure: The British government offers top-notch infrastructure in energy, transport, and telecommunications, poised to ensure the most conducive environment for business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Skilled Workforce: Great Britain has one of the highest numbers of qualified employees in the world with a flexible market designed with effective regulations to protect the interest of employees.

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Martin Luenendonk

Editor at FounderJar

Martin loves entrepreneurship and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs by validating the business idea, finding scalable customer acquisition channels, and building a data-driven organization. During his time working in investment banking, tech startups, and industry-leading companies he gained extensive knowledge in using different software tools to optimize business processes.

This insights and his love for researching SaaS products enables him to provide in-depth, fact-based software reviews to enable software buyers make better decisions.