The far-reaching annual study by TMF Group has ranked 81 jurisdictions across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas according to how complex they are to do business in from a regulatory and compliance perspective.
According to the findings, South America was found to be the most complex region to operate in, accounting for the top three places and half of the Index’s top 20, including Brazil, which climbed 15 places to number two in the rankings.
The high levels of government bureaucracy and red tape are cited as key reasons for making the local business environment in Brazil extremely challenging. For example, it can take around 54 days of work to start a business in Brazil compared to just six days in the UK.
The UK (including the Channel Islands) and Ireland are ranked amongst the least complex places to do business, alongside Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Ireland has retained its place in the top three least complex business destinations (79th out of 81) for the second year running, thanks largely to its common law framework, stable political environment, strong legal framework and pro-business attitude, TMF Group said. The enactment of the Companies Bill in early 2015 is expected to simplify its environment even further and initiatives such as the Knowledge Development Box, which will enhance Ireland’s onshore intellectual property regime, will ensure Ireland remains one of the most popular destinations for international business.
• Argentina (1st), Brazil (2nd) and Bolivia (3rd) are ranked as the most complex
• Poland (7th) is the only European country to feature in the top 20 despite significant reform, thanks in part to systems and laws inherited from the former Soviet Union
• Also in the top 10 were the United Arab Emirates (4th) and the emerging economies of Korea (5th), Indonesia (9th) and Thailand (10th)
• Ireland (79th), Hong Kong (80th) and Jersey (81st) ranked as the least complex