PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Doing Business 2019: Where Does the U.S. Rank?

By at 1 June, 2019, 7:58 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

I’m in a ranking kind of mood.

What I mean by that is with the recent publication of SBE Council’s “Small Business Policy Index 2019: Ranking the States on Policy Measures and Costs Impacting Entrepreneurship and Small Business Growth – which ranks the 50 states according to 62 different policy measures, including assorted tax, regulatory and government spending measures – I’m interested in other rankings that provide valuable information for entrepreneurs, small businesses, investors, and well, economists.

So, let’s take a look at the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2019: Comparing Business Regulation for Domestic Firms in 190 Economies.” It’s noted that the report looks at “regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it.” The 10 regulatory areas covered in the 2019 report are starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

So, where does the U.S. rank among 190 nations? It turns out the U.S. comes in at number 8 – that’s pretty impressive, but in previous editions of “Doing Business” our ranking was higher.

In terms of the ten categories covered, the U.S. is stellar in two, very good in another, but certainly has room to improve in the other seven:

Regulatory

Categories

  Rank

Starting a Business

  53rd

Dealing with Construction Permits

  26th

Getting Electricity

  54th

Registering Property

  38th

Getting Credit

  3rd

Protecting Minority Investors

  50th

Paying Taxes

  37th

Trading Across Borders

  36th

Enforcing Contracts

  16th

Resolving Insolvency

  3rd

During the first two-plus years of the Trump administration, deregulation (except for in the trade arena) has been a beneficial trend in terms of reining in certain regulatory measures raise the cost of doing business in the U.S.

Regulatory relief and reform needs to become an effort that cuts across states and localities as well, including and especially in the critical area of starting a business.

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Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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