EU Member States By Ease of Doing Business

Denmark is ranked first in terms of ease of doing business.
Denmark is ranked first in terms of ease of doing business.

The Ease of Business Ranking is an annual report released by the World Bank which ranks countries around the world according to ease of business for entrepreneurs in their respective economies. Countries placed on higher ranks have established policies and regulations which make it better and simpler for organizations to do business. The most recent report from the World Bank, the 14th report from the organization focused on the business regulation present in 190 economies around the world and relied on ten economic indices. Member states of the European Union performed considerably well in the 2017 ranking with Denmark, the highest ranking European country, ranking at third place in the world with the United Kingdom and Sweden following in that order.

EU Member States By Ease of Doing Business


Denmark was found to be the easiest country for business in Europe, ranking first place in the continent. Denmark’s prominence in the ranking did not come as a surprise as the country ranked at first place in the European Union in five consecutive years. The report confirms the world-leading business environment in dynamics and attractiveness present in Denmark. Denmark posted the best scores of any country in the “Trading across borders” indicator showing that the country was the best in time and cost spent on export and import in the world. Denmark also performed well in other indices including “Dealing with Construction Permits” where it ranked sixth globally, “Paying Taxes” where it ranked seventh in the world and “Resolving Insolvency” where it ranked eighth in the world.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom was the second best country in the European Union in the ease of business with the country ranking seventh in the world. The UK retained its position in the European Union but had fallen in its global rankings; the UK was the sixth best country in the world in the ease of doing business in 2016. The UK’s prominence in the World Bank’s global ranking is attributed to several recently-adopted regulations by the government which include the historic cut of the red tape as well as a reduction in corporate tax. The UK government also increased its investments in research and worked more closely with emerging markets to form strong trade ties. The UK government through the Department for Business Innovation and Skills welcomed the report as it showed that the country was edging closer to its top-five target.


Sweden ranked the third-best country in the European Union in the World Bank ranking and ranked ninth in the world. The business environment in Sweden has improved significantly in recent years as a result of improved regulations from the Swedish government.

Factors Considered

The World Bank relied on ten factors to establish the ease of doing business in a country, and these were starting a business, getting credit, access to electricity, payment of taxes, registration of property, enforcing contracts, protection of minority investors, obtaining of construction permits, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. The report can be then divided into four main data sets, which include transparency in business regulation, distance to the frontier, good practices, and entrepreneurship.

EU Member States By Ease of Doing Business

RankEU Member State Name
1 Denmark
2 United Kingdom
3 Sweden
4 Estonia
5 Finland
6 Latvia
7 Germany
8 Ireland
9 Austria
10 Lithuania
11 Poland
12 Portugal
13 Czech Republic
14 Netherlands
15 France
16 Slovenia
17 Spain
18 Slovakia
19 Romania
20 Bulgaria
21 Hungary
22 Belgium
23 Croatia
24 Cyprus
25 Italy
26 Luxembourg
27 Greece
28 Malta

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