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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
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