business regulation database - Measuring Business Regulation

The International Finance Corporation and the World Bank have teamed together to build a useful website for all Small and Medium Enterprises that gathers and provides information on economic data, laws and regulations for almost all countries of the world and covers most important topics to start and manage a business.

According to about page, “The Doing Business Project, launched in 2002, looks at domestic small and medium-size companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.” setting itself for a goalto provide an objective basis for understanding and improving the regulatory environment for business around the world.”

Most useful information for business

Even though it is primarily intended to benchmark for governments and countries, the doing business website can also be used by all companies, big and small notably to:

  • compare countries to assess the ones that can be more interesting to develop their activities
  • consult the database of business laws and regulations in almost all countries of the world
  • obtain more specific report on certain economies and subnational reports
  • assess the general legal framework for a particular country
  • obtain detailed information on the legal framework for a particular topic of business: starting a company, construction permits, electricity and utilities, property registration, obtaining credit and resolving insolvency, protection of investments, payment of taxes, cross-border trade, contracts enforcement, employing workers, etc.

Note that although here is much more information available in English, you can also browse the website in several other languages (French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, Arabic).

Country data and reports

With its economic snapshot, provides a quick overview of a country’s economy and income class as well as its openness and ease of doing business and a simple table that allows quick comparisons of several countries economies.

These quick reports present the different types of business activities that will be easier or harder compared to the global environment, and more interestingly the general evolution of the that country’s regulations in favor or against particular topics of doing business. Here are quick links to your favorite ASEAN countries snapshots:

For each country survey, you can there access the details of each necessary procedure, with its usual duration as well as costs incurred, by clicking on the appropriate link in the table. You can therefore clearly understand what steps are required, what budget will be needed and how long it will take to complete various business tasks in each country, especially:

  • Starting a business
  • Dealing with construction permits
  • Regsitering property
  • Paying taxes

Subnational reports

The website also provides various reports in its data section, that can be selected by subnational snapshots with city by city or business topics comparisons for certain countries (including especially a report on Indonesia in 2012 and the Philippines in 2011), used to obtain international companies by business topics as well as additional data, rankings and historic data.

Business Reform Summaries

Another search tool allows to get a more detailed view of a country evolution in business regulations and laws through the Business Reform Summaries that will help you understand your target country current government general evolution towards helping business (or not).

Law library

Last but not least a very useful search tool in the law library will allow you to search for laws and regulations concerning certain countries or entire regions, search only for countries with a specific level of income and select laws concerning only some specific  fields that particularly interest you (banking, opening or closing a company, labor laws, land and buildings laws, taxes, contracts, credit, capital and investment, etc.).

Of course you very much encouraged to go and visit the website to wander and find information on your particular country and topic of interest for doing business.

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