18 of 20
18. Bahrain
2009 rank: #18
2008 rank: #17 (adjusted)

Bahrain wasn't included in last year's "Doing Business" report, but if it had been, it would have ranked at #17, according to the World Bank's researchers. (All 2008 rankings were recalculated to accommodate methodological changes and new additions to the list.)

Starting a business in this Persian Gulf nation doesn't cost much, but it does require that you have a hefty sum in the bank. On the other hand, taxes don't weigh too heavily on entrepreneurs in Bahrain - they take only 36 hours a year to file and cost just 15% of profit.

Obtaining a construction permit is also fairly efficient, as paperwork can be completed in 56 days. When it comes to resolving commercial disputes, however, things can get a little longwinded -- it takes 48 procedures and 635 days to enforce a disputed contract. Access to credit is also likely to pose a problem for entrepreneurs in Bahrain: the legal rights of borrowers and lenders are relatively weak, and less than half the adult population is listed by a credit bureau.

NEXT: 19. Belgium

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: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. 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 2018 and/or its affiliates.