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Move over Singapore. New Zealand has just been ranked as the easiest country in the world to transact business according to the 2017 Doing Business Report just published by the World Bank.

A record 137 economies from around the world have adopted key reforms that make it easier to start and operate smaller businesses, however it is New Zealand that came out on top.

Australia was in 15th place.

The report considers the various legislation, regulations and rules that either help or hinder business activity in the survey and the survey considered 190 nations in its quest to find the most country that provided the greatest business efficiency.

The World Bank considers the survey important because of the correlation between ease of doing business and lower levels of income inequality, therefore boosting shared prosperity. It notes that an easier business environment results in more entrepreneurialism, more market opportunities (particularly for women) and more people willing to follow the rule of law.

Singapore won the survey in 2015.

The report noted that the removal of cheque duties in New Zealand helped make paying taxes easier and the lowering of New Zealand’s ACC (workplace) levies reduced costs for business.

On the downside, the report noted New Zealand’s higher road user levies but still gave credit to the New Zealand government’s reforms aimed at making doing business easier. Rather than including tax in the price of diesel as it does with petrol, New Zealand charges diesel users Road User Charges which is paid on distance and factors in the size of the vehicle (and theoretically the damage caused to the roads).

Looking across the report, New Zealand received the Gold medal for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, getting credit and protecting minority investors.

It ranked 11th for paying taxes, 13th for enforcing contracts, 34th for getting electricity and resolving insolvency and 50th for trading across borders.

The New Zealand government has, not surprisingly, welcomed the report as the government continues to work toward ensuring New Zealand remains competitive as part of the government’s Business Growth Agenda.

The information in this article is indicative of NZ tax rules and changes and not intended to be complete for all intents or purposes and does not constitute advice. It is recommended that you obtain professional advice, suited to your particular circumstances, from us before acting on anything you read.