2 of 20
BACKNEXT
2. New Zealand
2009 rank: #2
2008 rank: #2

It only takes 24 hours to set up a business in New Zealand, the speediest start-up time in the world. Thanks to new reforms this year, entrepreneurs can now use a single online procedure to register for taxes at the same time as they incorporate their company.

The Kiwis also boast the fastest time in the world for registering property: it can be done online in two days, and is relatively cheap.

As in the U.S. and Hong Kong, hiring and firing is relatively easy to do in New Zealand, with no mandated penalties, notice or severance payments for fired workers.Borrowers and lenders in New Zealand enjoy relatively strong legal rights, while investors have some of the strongest legal protections in the world.

NEXT: 3. United States

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
Sponsored by
Full story: Global best spots for small biz Singapore is tops in the World Bank's survey of the friendliest regulatory environments for startups and small companies. More
10 worst countries for startups These 10 countries filled out the bottom of World Bank's list, presenting major obstacles to fledgling new ventures. More
100 best places to live and launch Fortune Small Business's picks of the best places in the U.S. to start a company. More

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.