I just read an interesting report called Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs. The World Bank published the report, and you can download it here. Here’s a description of the report:

Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs is the third in a
series of annual reports investigating the regulations
that enhance business activity and those that constrain
it. New quantitative indicators on business regulations
and their enforcement can be compared across 155
countries—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over
time…The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and
identify what reforms have worked, where, and why.

These are the top thirty economies based on the ease of doing business:

1 New Zealand
2 Singapore
3 United States
4 Canada
5 Norway
6 Australia
7 Hong Kong, China
8 Denmark
9 United Kingdom
10 Japan
11 Ireland
12 Iceland
13 Finland
14 Sweden
15 Lithuania
16 Estonia
17 Switzerland
18 Belgium
19 Germany
20 Thailand
21 Malaysia
22 Puerto Rico
23 Mauritius
24 Netherlands
25 Chile
26 Latvia
27 Korea
28 South Africa
29 Israel
30 Spain

Here are the top ten things that I learned from reading the report:

  1. In Guatemala it takes 1,459 days to resolve simple disputes in court.

  2. If you paid all your business taxes in Sierra Leone, you would pay 164% of gross profit.

  3. Greece, ranked last of the OECD countries in this study, has an unemployment rate of 10.9%.

  4. Entrepreneurs in Serbia and Montenegro can register new businesses online, and if the entrepreneur has not heard from the government in five days, the business can start.

  5. In over half the world, new businesses are still required to announce their formation in a newspaper or official gazette.

  6. The most difficult country to fire an employee is Angola.

  7. Canada has the least rigid working hours. (It’s not clear if this is year round or just during hockey season.)

  8. New Zealand, United States, and Afghanistan rank 1-2-3 in terms of the lowest cost to dismiss a redundant worker.

  9. The mandatory retirement age for men in Greece is sixty-five. For women, it’s fifty eight.

  10. It takes 363 days to register property in Bangladesh.

If you’re interested in worldwide conditions for entrepreneurs, you’ll find this report enlightening. Many thanks to Peep Laja for bringing it to my attention.