Photo by Sean Yoro from Unsplash

The Philippines is dead last in a global ranking of best places for startups

Malaysia breaks into the top 10 of most favorable locations for businesses. Vietnam, Thailand, and Singapore are not too far behind.

Seems like the Philippines can’t catch a break as it continues its dismal performance in recent world rankings.

First, the country ranked an abysmal 77th out of 81 countries globally in the PISA 2022 rankings. Then in terms of “smartest cities,” Metro Manila placed a disappointing—though quite expected—121st out of 142 cities. 

The Philippines is at the very bottom of the rankings of Business Name Generator’s most favorable locations to start a business. Photo from Business Name Generator

It seems, however, as if we’re not only lagging when it comes to education and quality of life. We’re also falling behind when it comes to ease of doing business. In fact, we’re dead last. 

At the bottom of the rung

Business Name Generator has analyzed 52 countries to reveal the best and most challenging locations in which to start a business. And guess who took the unenviable last spot? Surprise, surprise—it’s the Philippines. 

To come up with the list, they’ve considered metrics such as business tax rates, the average time it takes to legally set up a business, predicted GDP growth in 2024, monthly cost of living, WiFi speeds, cost of hotdesking and quality of life, and happiness scores. 

The study revealed that all these factors considered, the Philippines ranks as the most challenging country to launch a startup, with legal proceedings for registering a business taking 33 days, high business tax rates (25 percent) and the second lowest quality of life score (85.72). 

10 Most Challenging Countries to Launch a Startup in 2024. Table from Business
Name Generator

Not everything is grim and hopeless, though, as the country has the second highest forecasted GDP growth in 2024 at 5.9 percent, a positive sign for future startups who will decide to set up shop here.

Joining the Philippines in the bottom rung as the least favorable countries in which to start a business in 2024 are Italy and Brazil. 

Italy and Brazil join the Philippines in the bottom rung. Photo by Mathew Schwartz
from Unsplash

Italy has the third lowest economic GDP increase at just 0.7 percent in 2024, indicating the economy in the boot-shaped country isn’t improving. It also has a fairly high business tax rate of 27.8 percent. 

Brazil, meanwhile, has the second highest business tax rate (34 percent) in the entire ranking. It also takes up to 17 days to complete the legal proceedings for starting a new business. 

The best places for startups

Over at the other end of the spectrum, Hungary tops Business Name Generator’s rankings of the best places to start a business. It has a low business tax rate of 9 percent and low living costs at an average of $694 per month without rent. Hungary has a fairly low GDP of $16,777 per capita, but its economic GDP figure is estimated to increase by 3.1 percent in 2024. 

20 Best Countries to Launch a Startup in 2024. Table from Business
Name Generator

The Netherlands takes the second spot with the highest GDP among the top 10 countries at $51,052 per capita. This impressive number indicates a stable economy. It boasts the third highest happiness score (7.4), and comes second for the best quality of life (198.16 out of 240), meaning there is a favorable landscape for employee productivity. 

The third best country for a startup is the United Arab Emirates. It joins Hungary with the second lowest corporate tax rate at 9 percent and a remarkable estimated 4 percent growth in economic GDP for 2024. 

Hungary is the best place for startups this 2024 according to Business Name Generator. Photo by Gabriel Miklós from Unsplash

In terms of happiness, Finland is voted the happiest country for employees, with a happiness score of 7.8 out of 10. Denmark comes in second, with a score of 7.59.

India ranks as the most affordable country in the list, with a cost of living averaging $348 without rent. Egypt comes second, with a monthly living cost of $421, while Argentina comes in close behind, with a cost of living of $439 per month. 

In terms of hotdesking, Saudi Arabia pays the most, with costs coming in at $363 per month. Singapore comes next, at $314 per month, followed by Norway, averaging $300 per month. 

Southeast Asian neighbors fare much better

While results for our dear country leave much to be desired, some of our fellow Southeast Asian countries have fared much better in the rankings. 

Breaking into the top 10 is Malaysia, where the cost of living is almost half that of Bahrain’s, at $474 per month. This indicates a higher level of disposable income that can be put into small businesses. It also has the fourth best value for hotdesking at $105 per month, which is a great value for new businesses looking for office space.

Malaysia is the best place in Southeast Asia for startups, ranking 10th on the list globally. Photo by Esmonde Yong from Unsplash

Following very close behind is Vietnam at the 11th spot and Thailand at number 13. Singapore, meanwhile, takes the 17th spot.  

Linus Näslund, COO for Business Name Generator said that entrepreneurs have to make crucial decisions when launching or expanding their business, and choosing the right location is one of the most important. “The location of a business can have a significant impact on its success, affecting access to resources, market demand, and competition. Entrepreneurs must carefully consider the economic, demographic, and cultural factors of potential locations,” he said.

He added that those who are looking into starting their own business must also evaluate the legal and regulatory environment, including taxes, labor laws, and zoning regulations, and how these will affect their operations. 

“Ultimately, the decision of where to launch can be a make-or-break factor for success, therefore, is vital for entrepreneurs to weigh up all relevant facets.”

You can access the full research here: 

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