print logo

Doing Business in a Transparent World 2012

Doing Business takes the perspective of domestic, primarily smaller companies & measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle.
Enabling private sector growth—and ensuring that poor people can participate in its bene?ts—requires a regulatory environment where new entrants with drive and good ideas, regardless of their gender or ethnic origin, can get started in business and where ? rms can invest and grow, generating more jobs. Doing Business 2012 is the ninth in a series of annual reports benchmarking the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. The report presents quantitative indicators on business regulation and the protection of property rights for 183 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. The data are current as of June 2011.

A fundamental premise of Doing Business is that economic activity requires good rules—rules that establish and clarify property rights and reduce the cost of resolving disputes; rules that increase the predictability of economic interactions and provide contractual partners with certainty and protection against abuse. The objective is regulations designed to be efficient, accessible to all and simple in their implementation. In some areas Doing Business gives higher scores for regulation providing stronger protection of investor rights, such as stricter disclosure requirements in related-party transactions.

Doing Business takes the perspective of domestic, primarily smaller companies and measures the regulations applying to them through their life cycle. This year’s report ranks economies on the basis of 10 areas of regulation—for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency (formerly closing a business).

In addition, data are presented for regulations on employing workers. Doing Business is limited in scope. It does not attempt to measure all costs and bene?ts of a particular law or regulation to society as a whole. Nor does it measure all aspects of the business environment that matter to ?rms and investors or affect the competitiveness of an economy. Its aim is simply to supply business leaders and policy makers with a fact base for informing policy making and to provide open data for research on how business regulations and institutions affect such economic outcomes as productivity, investment, informality, corruption, unemployment and poverty.

Through its indicators, Doing Business has tracked changes to business regulation around the world, recording more than 1,750 improvements since 2004. Against the backdrop of the global ?nancial and economic crisis, policy makers around the world continue to reform business regulation at the level of the ?rm, in some areas at an even faster pace than before.