9 of 20
9. Australia
2009 rank: #9
2008 rank: #10

Despite having made no significant reforms in 2007 and 2008, Australia has maintained its place among the top 10 economies for doing business thanks in part to its easy online business start-up system, which takes only two procedures and two days to register a new venture. Multiple reforms in the past five years have also made labor regulation more flexible.

The pros of doing business in Australia include relatively easy access to credit, strong legal rights for borrowers and lenders, and efficient bankruptcy proceedings.

The main cons for business owners Down Under are a tedious construction permit application processes (requiring 16 procedures and 221 days, on average) and limited protections for investors (director liability laws are very weak, for example.) Paying taxes is also a burden, requiring 107 hours to make 12 payments a year that eat up more than 50% of profits.

NEXT: 10. Norway

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.