The most and least affordable countries for starting a business, mapped

You have to spend money to make money – so goes the conventional wisdom.

But this is not just good advice for the entrepreneur looking to expand their business. It’s a legal and practical necessity to establish your business in the first place. That’s because, contrary to popular belief, the most challenging part about running a business may not be finding customers; it’s getting one started.

Depending on your country’s public policies and application processes, you might need more or less cash to be able to get a business up and running.

New business owners must shell out for approvals, licenses, permits, and inscriptions. In addition, governments often require a business to have a paid-in minimum capital requirement – a set amount of cash in the bank.

These processes are not just expensive but time-consuming and complicated. used information from The World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 report to gather the cost and paid-in minimum capital requirement for a small- to medium-size limited liability company to start up and formally operate in the largest business cities across 190 countries.

Business Financing team calculated the affordability of starting a business in each country based on the adjusted net national income per capita taken from The World Bank.

The total cost of starting a business
Cost of starting a business in every country
The total cost relative to the monthly average income
The cost of starting a Business in every country

Europe has some significant diversity in the cost of starting a business. In Slovenia, you can begin a business for free, as long as your starting capital is at least $7,066. In Italy, it will cost more than twice the average monthly income ($4,914).

The cost of starting a business in Europe
North America

Belize is the best place to start a business in North America, costing just $99. In contrast, the price in the Bahamas can seem impossible with a startup cost of $1,810, over 10x the average monthly income.

The cost of starting a business in North America
South America

In South America, Venezuela is the most affordable nation to start a business, requiring only $0.21. The most expensive is Suriname, topping out at $3,030.

The cost of starting a business in South America

Africa has some of the most significant cost variations between countries for beginning your own business. In Rwanda, it’s free. However, in terms of price and affordability, the most costly nation for starting a business is Equatorial Guinea, requiring a massive $2,321.

The cost of starting a business in Africa
The Middle East and Central Asia

If you dwell in the United Arabic Emirates, you’ll be shelling out $7,443. But if you begin your business in Kyrgyzstan, you will only be paying $8.

The cost of starting a business in the Middle East and Central Asia
The Rest of Asia and Oceania

In the Rest of Asia and Oceania, Cambodia is the most costly place on the continent in terms of price and affordability, with a cost of $746. On the other hand, people in Timor Leste have it easy, paying just $10.

Starting a business in the rest of Asia and Oceania

Key Findings

● The United Arab Emirates is the most costly nation to begin a business, with start-up costs of $7,443.51.
● There are no fees to start a business in Rwanda for the first 2 years, and in Slovenia, the just ‘cost’ is a capital requirement of €7,500 with no fees.
● Beginning a new business is least affordable in Congo, where $1,232 in fees equates to 2,554% of the average monthly income.
● In Kazakhstan, it takes just 2% of the average monthly payment ($12 against $531) to start a business.

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