The Doing Business 2020 study, by the World Bank Group, shows that developing economies are catching up with developed economies in ease of doing business. This publication is the 17th in a series of annual studies investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies— from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.
Regulations affecting 12 areas of the life of a business are covered: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, employing workers, and contracting with the government. The employing workers and contracting with the government indicator sets are not included in this year’s ranking.
Still, the gap remains wide. An entrepreneur in a low-income economy typically spends around 50 percent of the country’s per-capita income to launch a company, compared with just 4.2 percent for an entrepreneur in a highincome economy. It takes nearly six times as long on average to start a business in the economies ranked in the bottom 50 as in the top 20.