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Doing Business: Smarter Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises

Prepared by: Doing Business
October 23, 2012

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This report assesses regulations affecting domestic firms in 185 economies and ranks the economies in 10 areas of business regulation, such as starting a business, resolving insolvency and trading across borders.

This 10th edition of the Doing Business report marks a good time to take stock—to look at how far the world has come in business regulatory practices and what challenges remain. In the first report one of the main findings was that low-income economies had very cumbersome regulatory systems. Ten years later it is apparent that business regulatory practices in these economies have been gradually but noticeably converging toward the more efficient practices common in higher income economies. How much has the gap narrowed? Did some regions close the regulatory gap more rapidly than others? This year's report tells that story. It points to important trends in regulatory reform and identifies the regions and economies making the biggest improvements for local entrepreneurs. And it highlights both the areas of business regulation that have received the most attention and those where more progress remains to be made.

The report also reviews research on which regulatory reforms have worked and how. After 10 years of data tracking reforms and regulatory practices around the world, more evidence is available to address these questions. The report summarizes just some of the main findings. Among the highlights: Smarter business regulation supports economic growth. Simpler business registration promotes greater entrepreneurship and firm productivity, while lower-cost registration improves formal employment opportunities. An effective regulatory environment boosts trade performance. And sound financial market infrastructure—courts, creditor and insolvency laws, and credit
and collateral registries—improves access to credit.

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