When it comes to the best places for setting up an online business, the Kingdom of Bahrain does pretty well considering the global completion. It ranks 38 out of 99 countries, according to Best Accounting Software, a global firm that reviews and rates financial software to help organisations make more informed purchases.
The island nation has shown promising potential in moving up the list thanks to a robust tech environment and supporting legal framework.
E-commerce continues to grow year-on-year, with eMarketer forecasting global sales worth $6.542 trillion by 2023, accounting for 22 per cent of all retail sales (up from 14.1 per cent in 2019). This means 2021 could be the year to start your online business.
Best Accounting Software’s researchers looked at 20 different categories across 99 countries. From GNI per capita and corporate tax rates to the number of social media, internet users, and co-worker spaces by each individual country, they analysed a plethora of key areas.
The resulting data suggested the majority of countries most suited to starting an online business are located in Europe. Joined by the US, Canada, and Singapore, these countries provide an all-around great starting point for your next business venture – but, the “perks” of these locations tend to be met with a higher corporate tax rate.
Accordingly, Denmark turned out to be the best country in the world to set up an online business.
Denmark enjoys a top score for secure internet servers (over 277,000 per 1 million people) and share of individuals with a finance account (99.92 per cent). It is also the cheapest of the top 10 to start a business (0.2 per cent based on the GNI percentage).
Denmark also ranks second highest for how much of the population use the internet for online purchases/paying bills (88 per cent) and is positioned near the top for total number of internet users (98 per cent).
The country did, however, have the second-lowest postal efficiency score in our top ten, has a very low number of co-work spaces (32), and received mid-range scores for mobile internet speeds (66.68 Mbps), social media user penetration (71 per cent), and corporate tax rates (22 per cent).
Other top countries in order are Switzerland, the Netherlands, the US, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Germany, Canada, Luxembourg.
TOP PERFORMERS IN EACH CATEGORY
In addition to top scorers, there are countries that outshine others within each category.
• Best for mobile internet speed: With average speeds of 129.61 Mbps, the UAE enjoys mobile internet that’s over 4 per cent faster than second-place China.
• Best for fixed broadband: Singapore is the only country to exceed 200 Mbps for its fixed broadband speeds, enjoying average rates of 229.42 Mbps. This is almost 20 per cent faster than second-place Romania (188.85 Mbps).
• Best for fixed broadband subscriptions: Thanks to over 45 per cent of the population having a fixed broadband connection, France takes the top spot here. In fact, all of the countries with subscription figures over 40 per cent of the population are located in Europe. These include Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Malta.
• Best for internet users: Similar to social media users, the UAE and Kuwait come out on top along with Bahrain, with 99 per cent of their population using the internet.
• Best for social media users: With 99 per cent of the population using social media, the UAE clinches the top spot again but it is also joined by Kuwait in this category. As of January 2020, the UAE was recorded as having 9.73 million social media users and Kuwait 4.2 million.
• Best for secure internet servers: As the only country in our study to exceed 200,000 servers per one million people, Denmark is the clear winner here with over 277,000 per one million. An impressive statistic, especially considering the country’s small size.
• Best for online purchases/paying bills online: About 89 per cent of Norwegians use the internet for online purchases or paying bills, closely followed by 88 per cent in fellow Nordic countries, Denmark and Finland.
• Best for Low Corporate Tax Rates: With corporate tax rates of 0 per cent, the UAE and Bahrain offer clear benefits for many businesses. It’s worth noting that Bahrain has no taxes on income, sales, capital gains, or estates with the exception of oil and gas trades. In the UAE, each jurisdiction is able to levy corporate taxes of up to 55 per cent on any business, but, in practice, it is mostly levied on foreign banks and petroleum companies.
• Best for GNI: Switzerland ranked the best for GNI per capita with a value of $85,500 in 2019, $3,000 more than second-place Norway and almost $85,000 more than bottom-placed Uganda.
• Best for Individuals with a finance account: Every country within the top 20 has over 90 per cent of its population using a financial account, but Denmark outdoes them all with a score of 99.92 per cent.
• Best for payment processing providers: A large number of countries scored full points for in this category, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US.
• Best for economic freedom: Singapore enjoys great economic freedom and performs well in all of the categories covered here: property rights, judicial effectiveness, government integrity, tax burden, government spending, fiscal health, business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom, trade freedom, investment freedom, and financial freedom.
• Best for business start-up procedures: With just one procedure required to register your business in New Zealand and Georgia, these two countries offer a stress-free, speedy entry into the market.
• Best for days required to start a Business: Thanks to there being one only procedure necessary for business start-ups, it’s no surprise that New Zealand and Georgia are also the quickest places to establish a business. Here, you could be up and running in just one day.
• Best for cost of start-up business procedures: Based on the percentage of GNI it costs to start up a business, Ireland, the UK, and Slovenia are best at just 0.1 per cent. Unsurprisingly, with its lengthy procedures, Venezuela ranks worst in this category, costing 211.8 per cent of GNI.
• Best for time zones: The most ‘popular’ time zone is UTC +1 and includes 44 countries worldwide (most of Europe and Central Africa), providing great multinational connections.
• Best for logistics performance: According to the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index, Germany is the best in the world. It outperforms the average scores across all of the other high-income countries, boasting great infrastructure, timeliness, competence, international connections, ease of customs, and tracking and tracing.
• Best for postal efficiency: With full marks for postal efficiency, Switzerland comes out on top yet again. Measured on reliability, reach, relevance, and resilience, Switzerland has dominated the index since it began in 2017.
• Best for co-work spaces: As previously mentioned the US boasts a far greater number of co-work spaces than any other country. With over 2,400, the opportunity to find a suitable office space and to network with fellow entrepreneurs is vast.
• Best for digital skills: Many online businesses rely on key skills, from basic coding to general computer skills. According to World Bank data, Finland has the most digitally skilled workers, scoring 5.83 out of 7. –Tradearabia News Service