Starting a new business can certainly be a daunting task. While you have many decisions to make as an entrepreneur, one of the most important is where you will form your business. The following are five of the best countries to consider based on affordability, access to capital, low manufacturing costs, and low levels of bureaucracy.
According to the World Bank, Indonesia boasts the largest economy in Southeast Asia, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs ready to capitalize on economic growth and the country’s maturing democracy. Indonesia is predominantly a middle-income nation with a sizeable middle class, yet it offers a low-cost base for production and the perfect launchpad for the Southeast Asian region. Business opportunities in Indonesia don’t end there; they can extend to nine additional members of the ASEAN that enjoy favorable trade relationships with Indonesia. The country also makes it easier than most to start a business with its Program for Eastern Indonesian Small and Medium Enterprise Assistance (PENSA) that educates new business owners.
As an entrepreneur, there’s a lot to like about Singapore. According to KC Ha Consulting, Singapore is ranked number one in providing best investment potential and is also ranked number 3 in foreign trade and investments in economic performance. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. Additionally, Singapore is also ranked highly for maintaining governmental transparency and has a good track record of keeping low levels of bureaucracy. With high regulatory performance and a high-income society known for its infrastructure, public transportation, and English skills, the country offers an excellent framework for starting a new business with a process that can take as little as three days.
Singapore is unique in many ways compared to its neighbors. It’s home to many of the top companies in the world thanks to its central location in Southeast Asia and proximity to emerging Chinese and Indian markets. With an ideal location and excellent global connectivity, Singapore has received the top rating in Asia for logistics. Singapore also offers an attractive corporate tax rate that maxes out at 17% with 21 free trade agreements with 27 economics and more than 70 avoidance of double tax agreements to reduce tax barriers in trade.
Mexico has become an increasingly attractive location for entrepreneurs and investors with a vibrant economy and low costs. Mexico ranks among the top 30% in the world concerning regulatory performance and has undergone business registration reforms that have increased its number of registered businesses. It typically takes as little as one week to start a business in Mexico.
Of course, there are trade-offs including high crime rates and a steep learning curve for learning administrative procedures and unwritten rules. Despite improvements in regulatory performance, Mexico continues to perform very poorly regarding corruption. Only ten countries rank below Mexico in the Americas for corruption in government, banking, politics, and business. This corruption can affect foreign companies in Mexico as bribery is a long-held tradition. Even the growth of retail giant Wal-Mart in Mexico involved substantial and systematic bribes, according to the New York Times. Bribery is so common and accepted that it’s practically considered a part of cost analysis when opening and running a business in Mexico.
Malaysia makes it incredibly easy to start a business with a streamlined process that takes around 19 days. In fact, most of the paperwork to register a new company in Malaysia can even be done online. Malaysia offers a stable economy, educated yet low-cost workforce, and a high rate of English fluency. It can also be a more affordable alternative to expand or get into the Southeast Asian market compared to other countries in the region like Singapore.
Of course, Malaysia it does come with drawbacks. Malaysia does still have a problem with government corruption and complicated bureaucracy that can complicate business operation. Malaysia also has a high corporate tax rate at 24% which is the third highest among Southeast Asian nations.
Thailand almost ties with Singapore when it comes to fast and easy business formation. It also offers a unique perk: it has a low business density compared to other countries in the region with reduced competition and room to grow. It’s also one of the most affordable countries in which to operate a business although you will face some restrictions concerning acceptable industries as a company that isn’t Thai majority owned.
While these aren’t the only nations that can be considered pro-business, each offer advantages worth considering as an investor including low labor costs, affordable tax rates, and stable economies. And when you finally get that business started, be sure to look to us for your marketing needs.