Doing business in Australia is easier

04 Nov 2019


  • Edmund Tang
  • Australian Economy

Australia remains one of the world’s easiest places to do business, according to a recent World Bank survey, Doing Business 2020. [i]

Overall, Australia improved four places to reach 14th position in the world for the ease of doing business in 2020. When comparing economies with a population of more than 20 million, Australia now ranks fifth in the world, behind South Korea (1st globally), the USA (2nd), the UK (3rd) and Malaysia (4th).

Gaining credit

Globally, Australia ranks fourth out of 190 economies in terms of getting credit. The rankings for Canada (15th), UK (37th), South Korea (67th), China (80th), Japan (94th), the OECD High-Income group (68th) and East Asia & Pacific economies (82nd) provide useful benchmarks for assessing how well regulations and institutions in Australia support lending and borrowing.

In particular, the strength of Australia’s legal rights index is almost perfect at 11 out of 12. Only 14 other countries achieved this score or above. Also, Australia’s credit information is assigned a full mark, with an index rating of 8 out of 8.


Contract enforcement

Australia gains recognition for good business practices. For example, it takes an estimated 402 days to enforce a business contract in Australia, placing the country sixth place out of 190 economies. This is much shorter than the averages for East Asia & Pacific and OECD economies, which were 581 and 590 days, respectively.

Additionally, Australia’s judicial processes also ranked highly. Australia scored 15.5 out of 18, which is much higher than the OECD High-income Group (11.7) and East Asia & Pacific economies (8.1).

Getting started

With an average time of just two days to register a business, Australia ranks as the seventh easiest place in the world to start a business. On the other hand, the average time for the OECD High-Income group is 9.2 days. For East Asia & Pacific economies the average is 25.6 days.

Additionally, there are only three steps that business operators in Australia must complete to register their business. In contrast, the OECD High-income Group averages 4.9 steps and East Asia & Pacific economies 6.5 steps.

One final metric: According to the report, Australia is the 11th easiest place in the world to deal with construction permits, with an average score of 84.7. Again, Australia was graded much higher than the OECD High-income Group (75.6) and East Asian & Pacific economies (70).

[i] The ease of doing business score measures an economy’s performance with respect to a measure of regulatory best practice across the entire sample of 41 indicators for 10 Doing Business topics.