Business markets are continuing to diversify across the world. No longer is it possible for many businesses to just stick to domestic markets if they want to keep up with everyone else. Even though the English-speaking market is a large one, there is still the potential for international business relations across the world. The most widely spoken languages of Mandarin and Spanish, for example, are important for accessing emerging markets.
Businesses looking to expand into international markets need to take many things into consideration. One of them is how easy and pleasant it is for companies to do business in each country. As well as the ease of setting up and running a business, companies want to know that they’re in a country when their money is in safe hands. One of the ways to determine how good a country is for doing business is by looking at the World Bank’s Doing Business report. The organization releases this report every year. However, this report looks at the regulations for domestic businesses. So businesses wanting to branch out into international markets need to take some other factors into account. It’s important to know that when you’re moving into another country, they’re welcoming to foreign firms, and not just domestic ones.
Take a look at some of the best countries for business in 2015. They have been chosen using the World Bank Doing Business rankings, as well as other factors and country listings.
The World Bank ranked Denmark the number one country to do business in for domestic firms in 2015, and at number four worldwide. Denmark consistently appears in the top countries on the list. The country also makes frequent appearances on the Forbes ‘Best Countries for Business’ list too. These rankings mean that the regulations for businesses in Denmark make it easy to do business. There isn’t too much hassle or red tape.
Switzerland is a popular choice for conducting international business, sometimes for tax purposes. It doesn’t rank in the top ten for the World Bank. But many businesses see the potential of setting up an international presence in the country. There are many services that help non-domestic firms establish themselves on arrival in Switzerland. For example, there is one firm that helps with Swiss company incorporation – Co-handelszentrum.
Northern European countries are among the best for conducting business on the continent as a domestic firm. But Norway is also a good country for doing business as an international company. This safe country has a small population. But with a greater than average wealth, Norway is comparable to countries of a much bigger size. There’s also a very good level of English among businesses and the general population.
China doesn’t rank too highly on the World Bank’s Doing Business list. And they aren’t particularly happy about that. Even though it may be tougher to do business in China than in other countries, it would be remiss not to consider expanding into such a large potential market. In recent years, there has been discussion of the importance of Chinese Mandarin in accessing an international clientele. But if China is a country you’re considering, remember that it could take six months or more to get set up.
Several Asian countries rank highly for business friendliness. And Singapore often comes out on top. In fact, the World Bank put Singapore at number one for doing business in 2014 and 2015. Many global businesses have their headquarters in Singapore. Others head their Asia branch there or simply establish international offices. Singapore is the most competitive Asian country and is a good choice for tax purposes and a strong business network.
Hong Kong can make a great place to begin launching your company into a wider Asian market. Like Singapore, it consistently ranks highly for doing business. Although this year, it was knocked off second place by New Zealand. Like several other countries where the ease of doing business is high, the cost of living is also high. This means that salaries for employees are higher, and there is a strong focus on employee protections.
South Korea may not be the first country that comes to mind when thinking about international business affairs. But with the country’s border with China and high ranking as an excellent place to do business (in the World Bank’s top ten), it’s a good place to consider. The economy is strong and continues to grow every year. South Korea is a traditional, but adaptable country, willing to move forward and embrace change.
Of course, there are also English-speaking markets to conquer. Some businesses may choose to tackle these before other countries. New Zealand ranks the second best country for domestic firms. And they have taken measures to try to make the country accessible for skilled business people. There has been substantial investment in new areas such as technology in recent years. There are great opportunities for growing businesses.
New Zealand’s nearest significant neighbor in terms of economy is also an excellent place for conducting business. It consistently ranks well for ease of doing business. And Australia has a large global economy that businesses shouldn’t ignore. Setting up in Australia could be a good gateway to accessing Asia, on top of reaching the markets of Australia and New Zealand.
There are several countries that are perfect for launching a business into Asia, but the UK has to be the one for reaching out in Europe. Although it doesn’t rank as highly for ease of doing business as some other countries in Europe, it usually falls within the top ten. It’s an English-speaking population. So it’s easier for companies from North America and other countries to set up, without a language barrier. The conditions are great for start-ups, as well as established businesses.
When considering expanding into another country in 2015, take into account the factors that could affect international business.