Doing Business in 2020

As we move into 2020, many of us will be thinking of what lies ahead. If the next year is the year you are thinking of setting up a new blockchain business, relocating, opening up an online casino or just restructuring your assets then you might be wondering where to go.

The World Bank has compiled a list of the easiest, and hardest jurisdictions to do business in and why. Here is our breakdown of a selection of them and the benefits they have for those who choose to incorporate there.


Ranking at 88 on the list, the fully fledged EU state of Malta registered significant improvements in getting a business up and running. This was due to the implementation of an online one-stop-shop for the registration of staff, employers and value added tax. Changes were also made to labour laws in favour of employees and in terms of infrastructure, its power supply was much improved through an upgrade to the power grid. Popular for iGaming, blockchain and cryptocurrency, Malta offers a solid licensing regime for innovative industries and attractive fiscal benefits.


Coming in at number 54, Cyprus is one of the easiest countries to do business in Europe. Over the last 12 months, the government made it much easier and cheaper to register a Cyprus company and they made tax paying easier through an online filing and payment system. Once set up, corporate tax in Cyprus is just 12.5% and income from dividends, profits from overseas permanent establishments, and international transactions are tax exempt. 

Costa Rica

At number 74, Costa Rica is one of the easiest places in Central and Latin America to do business. Notable improvements in its business environment over the last year include faster processes for businesses to get electricity and a more reliable service. The government also adopted a new civil code procedure that makes it easier to enforce labour contracts.


One of the top 20 countries to do business in, Estonia places at number 18. Ranking highly due to its efficient import, customs, and taxation regime, it is becoming a popular choice for entrepreneurs. Some of the leading industries in Estonia include online gaming, cryptocurrency and blockchain.


The Seychelles may have ranked at number 100 out of 190, but its score was still better than average. Benefits of doing business in Seychelles include low tax obligations (as little as zero), confidentiality, and a quick registration process.


At number 86, Panama scores highly for the ease of starting a business, trading across borders, and getting electricity. In terms of enforcing contracts however, it loses a few points as it can take over six months for contractors to get paid even if both parties are in agreement. Panama companies also enjoy a zero rate of taxation and high levels of confidentiality for beneficial owners and other involved parties.


Despite ranking at 113, Antigua and Barbuda only has a few point difference between Costa Rica and Malta. During 2019, the government made it much quicker for individuals to start a business by making it easier for public entities involved in company incorporation, to exchange information. Antigua offers complete tax exemption, no minimum capital requirement, and no statutory requirement to complete or submit audits.


At 128 on the list, it may not be a high ranking country but Barbados made a number of changes during 2019 that bode well for the future. For example, the government invested in improving its electrical infrastructure and deploying new software to process applications. It also made it easier to trade across borders by streamlining inspections and using an electronic compliance system. Companies incorporated in Antigua get a tax holiday with a low tax rate thereafter, exemption from import duties, and full repatriation of capital, profits, and dividends.

To find out more information on doing business in any of these jurisdictions, or any other for that matter, contact Fast Offshore today!