Financial and Monetary Systems

In New Zealand it takes less than a day to start a business

An Aeronavics drone sits in a paddock near the town of Raglan, New Zealand, July 6, 2015.

New Zealand is the fastest and most straightforward place to launch a business in the world. Image: REUTERS/Naomi Tajitsu

Douglas Broom
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Dreaming of running your own business but wondering where in the world to start? Well, here’s a quick suggestion – New Zealand.

Have you read?

It is the fastest and most straightforward place to launch a business anywhere on the planet, thanks to online technology that means you can be up and running in just half a day.

Image: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2019

New Zealand ranks 19 out of 141 nations in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2019. Part of its success is down to the ease with which entrepreneurs can get businesses off the ground.

Other nations with a smooth path for start-ups include Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore, where setting up a business takes less than two days. In Georgia, Australia and Jamaica, it’s three days or less.

At the opposite end of the scale, would-be start-ups in Venezuela face a seven-and-a-half-month slog to get going. In Laos, the process takes more than five-and-a-half months, and in both Haiti and Cambodia, it’s more than three months before you can start trading.

Making business easy

New Zealand was recognized as the easiest place in the world to do business by the World Bank this year. Its Doing Business 2019 report ranked Singapore and Denmark alongside New Zealand as the most business-friendly nations.

Factors that affect how easy it is to do business, according to the World Bank. Image: World Bank

In New Zealand, a single government web page gives access to all the tools needed to get started, including creating a business plan, choosing a name and registering the company.

Free services include Real Me, a secure identity management tool that allows New Zealanders to access government services and make payments online. Tax and trademark registration is also included in the service.

A nation of nearly 5 million people, New Zealand has 612,000 registered businesses. It ranked top for corporate governance and macroeconomic stability in the Global Competitive Index and was rated third in the world for the strength of its institutions.

The World Bank says simplifying business regulation is the key to economic success. Reform has been fastest in sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade, with the first African nation, Mauritius, entering the top 20 easiest places to do business in 2019.

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