Ease of Doing Business

The ease of doing business index is an index created by the World Bank Group. Higher rankings (a low numerical value) indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights. Empirical research funded by the World Bank to justify their work show that the economic growth impact of improving these regulations is strong.

The report is above all, a benchmark study of regulation. The survey consists of a questionnaire designed by the Doing Business team with the assistance of academic advisers. The questionnaire centers on a simple business case that ensures comparability across economies and over time. The survey also bases assumptions on the legal form of the business, size, location, and nature of its operations. The ease of doing business index is meant to measure regulations directly affecting businesses and does not directly measure more general conditions such as a nation’s proximity to large markets, quality of infrastructure, inflation, or crime.

A nation’s ranking on the index is based on the average of 10 subindices:

  1. Starting a business – Procedures, time, cost and minimum capital to open a new business
  2. Dealing with construction permits – Procedures, time and cost to build a warehouse
  3. Getting electricity – procedures, time and cost required for a business to obtain a permanent electricity connection for a newly constructed warehouse
  4. Registering property – Procedures, time and cost to register commercial real estate
  5. Getting credit – Strength of legal rights index, depth of credit information index
  6. Protecting investors – Indices on the extent of disclosure, extent of director liability and ease of shareholder suits
  7. Paying taxes – Number of taxes paid, hours per year spent preparing tax returns and total tax payable as share of gross profit
  8. Trading across borders – Number of documents, cost and time necessary to export and import
  9. Enforcing contracts – Procedures, time and cost to enforce a debt contract
  10. Resolving insolvency – The time, cost and recovery rate (%) under bankruptcy proceeding

The Doing Business project also offers information on following datasets:

  1. Distance to frontier – Shows the distance of each economy to the “frontier,” which represents the highest performance observed on each of the indicators across all economies included since each indicator was included in Doing Business
  2. Entrepreneurship – Measures entrepreneurial activity. The data is collected directly from 130 company registrars on the number of newly registered firms over the past seven years
  3. Good practices – Provide insights into how governments have improved the regulatory environment in the past in the areas measured by Doing Business
  4. Transparency in business regulation – Data on the accessibility of regulatory information measures how easy it is to access fee schedules for 4 regulatory processes in the largest business city of an economy
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