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start a business in 2020

The best and the worst countries to start a business in 2020

You’ve been grinding away for the past ten years and religiously followed a 9-5 routine at the workplace.

One day at work, you had an epiphany.

You realize that after a professional journey of ten years and three employers, you’re still not where you wanted to be financially.

To achieve your financial aspirations, you should begin your entrepreneurial journey as you’ve amassed enough skills and knowledge in your domain.

Keeping your competence in mind, you conduct market research and look for demand gaps that you can fill with your product/service.

All of this requires a ton of perseverance and a high level of optimism to go through this initial difficult period.  Sounds tough? You bet it is.

It’s already difficult enough to begin a venture in your city, let alone in a foreign country.

Now imagine you plan to start a venture in a foreign country. For that, you make a ton of investment, hire employees and later found that the country isn’t conducive at all for business.

How would that make you feel?

I’m sure it would be something way beyond “not good.”

That’s why no matter how much technical knowledge you have or how amazing your product is, if you don’t know the country you’re planning to start a business in then you’ve already lost it.

While in some countries, it is easy even to set up a business in a few hours, on the other end of the spectrum are countries that are absolute hell when it comes to businesses.

Here is a list of the best and the worst countries to start your business on  the planet.

Best countries to Start a business

United Kingdom

In all the 15 criteria that Forbes used to rate countries, UK topped Forbes list of the most stable countries to start a business.

They say that numbers don’t lie, which means that there are huge investments, capital flows, and many opportunities for entrepreneurs who are willing to go places where they can start from scratch and scale big.

These are not only the factors that will entice you to start from the UK, and there are other factors as well.

  • You can set up your business within an hour or so.
  • The British Government offers some benefits to founders and investors who pay regular taxes, and the employees get some attractive incentives from a financial point of view.
  • Moreover, the UK is on the of the lowest corporate tax pay rate among other countries which is quite attractive as well.

Singapore

As per the World Bank, Singapore gives one of the healthiest opportunities to start a business. Apart from the economic indicator, there are a couple of other factors that will help you to decide better:

  • Singapore is a politically stable country.
  • It is one of the wealthiest countries that have much disposable income.
  • The labor force is strong.
  • There are no dividend or capital gains taxes imposed.
  • Offers free trade agreements for huge markets.
  • Easy to register your business online.

Moreover, Singapore offers low airfare to the neighboring countries, which means that the business owner can easily travel to Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.

Canada

Even though the standard of living is high in Canada, the country is progressing at an impressive rate with its manufacturing, service and mining sectors. With these gains, the nation transformed from a rural economy to a highly urban and industrialized economy.

The country also has vast oil and gas reserves just after Venezuela and Saudi Arabia.

Canada shares a balanced trade with the US that offers enormous opportunities for investors to tap into the Canadian market through the US.

The stable political situation, excellent health care, and skilled labor are few other advantages for starting a business in Canada. All of these make it a lucrative destination for business investors looking to take advantage of the service or industrial sector.

Hong Kong

In the past few years, Hong Kong’s economy is growing steadily, which makes it a perfect gateway for startups, entrepreneurs to set up their business in Hong Kong. As a free-market economy, Hong Kong is dependent on trade and international finance.

The highly trained workforce and well-designed transport and communication make it easy to start any business. The economy is doing great that it is established as a go-to stock market for Chinese companies that want to trade abroad.

On the other hand, natural resources are limited in Hong Kong, so the import is quite high. This might sound a bit discouraging but there are no tariffs on imported goods on a few items like petroleum, hard alcohol, methyl alcohol, and tobacco.

Worst Countries to Start a Business

Chad

The biggest problem with Chad is that everything has to be imported, which makes it challenging to start a business because even before the start, there will be transportation costs and high dependency on its neighbors.

Moreover, oil is the biggest commercial commodity, and the whole country is served with just one refinery that makes is short for businesses.

Even the cheap labor is not of any use because the available work is unskilled and uneducated. Apart from the above issues, other issues surround the Chad economy:

  • There is limited communication and transport infrastructure.
  • The elevated level of corruption in the government is one major drawback.
  • Extensive government bureaucracy

The country is an excellent dept country with unskilled labor and inadequate infrastructure. To start a business in Chad is not only impossible; it is merely frustrating at best.

Haiti

There was a time when Haiti was considered as a place for gorgeous beaches and warm ocean water. But after the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, Haiti is now more of an emergency state. The economy was excellent before the earthquake, but after that, everything went south.

There is a high level of corruption, political instability, low level of education and a high level of poverty.

It is without a doubt that Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Even though the tariff-free exports from the US are a good sign, but the unskilled labour, the vulnerability to natural disasters makes it a terrible place to start a business. Plus, after the earthquake, communication and transport never became stable after 2010.

Libya

Libya was considered as an African powerhouse. But after the Arab Spring that spread like fire across the Northern African nations in 2014, Libya’s trade reduced significantly with the world.

The country is entirely dependent on oil and gas export, but after 2015 the radicals took control of the oil terminals and after an armed conflict, the oil production was halted. 

It is due to the armed conflict that the country is not safe to work anymore. The lack of infrastructure, the lack of food & security for the people and the lack of a stable labor force all make Libya not conducive to business investments at the moment.

India

In a survey done in Expat Insider 2019, it was revealed that India ranks fifth from the bottom in terms of safety and security among 64 countries.

The survey concluded that four out of every ten people hold negative feelings about peace in India and are worried about personal safety in a Hindu-majority country.

India scored low in the environmental pollution area as well, which makes it difficult for professionals to work in an unclean country. In a survey, an American pointed out that, “I always have to take my guard with me when I go outside, I don’t feel safe working here.”

Sure, Indians are working across the globe, and maybe that sends a clear signal that India is not safe to start a business even for Indians. Moreover, the continuous political instability raises concerns for expats who feel unsafe working in India. The level of corruption in the government sector makes it very difficult for entrepreneurs to do anything reasonably.

Lastly, the above-average working hours are erratic for people who are new in the country. Just being affordable for expats doesn’t make India the safest and peaceful place to begin your business.

Finishing it up

Even though it is tough to sleep in an uncomfortable bed, away from your family, but the real motivation –passion can give you possible reasons to start a business in another country. When you plan to start a business, just be sure that you don’t pick and choose the worst countries to work and start a market where it is advised and preferred.

Yousuf Rafi

A Caffeine dependent non-mainstream person trying to elevate small talk to medium talk. I know I will win, not immediately but definitely. I do most of the talking in my head. However, for other things, I prefer writing blogs.