Australia remains one of the easiest places in the world to start a business, although conditions have worsened in the past two years, according to a new World Bank report.
The Doing Business report by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank ranked Australia 15th out of 183 countries when it comes to the ease of doing business.
This is a fall on 11th place last year and, in turn, the 10th place of 2009. However, Australia is ranked second in the world when it comes to starting a business.
Start-up conditions are broadly positive in Australia, according to the report, with entrepreneurs needing two days to get a business registered and operational.
The ability for Australian start-ups to get credit also compares well with other countries, ranking eighth.
Australia is placed 30th when it comes to trading across borders, 17th when it comes to enforcing contracts, 37th in getting electricity and 38th in registering property.
Overall, Australian start-ups have to deal with two different procedures before being ready to launch and are required to spend an average of 109 hours a year on their tax obligations. Total tax rate is 47.7% of profit.
Although the picture is generally bright for start-ups, the federal opposition seized upon Australia’s drop in international ranking as an easy place to do business.
“The World Bank rankings on business regulation burdens reinforce the ‘field evidence’ I hear from small businesses and family enterprises every day,” says Bruce Billson, shadow small business minister.
“It used to be the case that owning your own business was the second great Australian dream behind owning your own home.”
“Sadly that dream for many Aussies is fading because of the hurdles put in the way of small business.”
Small business minister Nick Sherry, unsurprisingly, talked up the results, saying: “The World Bank Doing Business survey confirms that Australia is a great place to start and run a business.”
“The Australian government is working hard to implement policies to lift productivity and enhance competitiveness .”
“These include our comprehensive package of tax reforms, investing in skills and critical infrastructure such as the National Broadband Network, as well as streamlining regulation as part of the Seamless National Economy agenda.”
“These policies and reforms are vital to strengthen Australia’s position as a globally competitive economy – that’s why they are our priority.”