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10. Norway
2009 rank: #10
2008 rank: #9

Registering property is a lightening-fast process in Norway, requiring just one procedure and three days. Contract enforcement is also relatively rapid, taking 310 days on average. Complying with tax laws is relatively low-maintenance, eating up an average of 87 hours each year, although the tax rate is not exactly low, at 41.6% of profit.

When it comes to foreclosure, reorganization or liquidation, Norway has the lowest costs in the world for resolving insolvency: fees average just 1% of the bankrupt estate's value, and the process can be completed in less than a year.

Areas in which this economy didn't perform so well in the "Doing Business" report include the bureaucracy around obtaining construction permits, which takes 14 procedures and 252 days. Norwegian businesses also have to contend with relatively rigid labor regulations.

NEXT: 11. Iceland

Source: All data comes from "Doing Business 2009," a publication of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. Detailed methodological information is available at www.doingbusiness.org.
LAST UPDATE: Sep 11 2008 | 1:18 PM ET
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