5 of 20
BACKNEXT
5. Denmark
2009 rank: #5
2008 rank: #5

Denmark is the only economy in the world where it costs nothing to start a business, although entrepreneurs do have to show that they have some money in the bank before they can set up shop. Registration requires only four procedures and takes just six days.

With relatively strong legal rights for borrowers and lenders, laws that make it fairly easy to hire and fire employees, and some of the lowest export and import costs, this is the second year Denmark has the No. 5 position in the "Doing Business" ranking.

Danish reforms in 2007 and 2008 include a reduction in the corporate tax rate, which dropped from 28% to 25%, and changes to the court system to allow for some contract-enforcement cases to be sent to mediation.

Registering property, however, isn't exactly speedy, with an average duration of 42 days, - and while applying for a construction permit may appear easy, requiring a world-record of just six procedures, it still takes a total of 69 days to process.

NEXT: 6. United Kingdom

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

Market indexes 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. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.