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Fact Sheet -- Latin America and the Caribbean

Summary of Doing Business reforms:

Antigua and Barbuda
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 57     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 51

Argentina made transferring property more difficult by adding a requirement that the notary obtain the tax agency’s reference value for property before notarizing the sale deed.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 113     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 114

The Bahamas made transferring property more costly by increasing the applicable stamp duty fees.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 85     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 82

Belize made paying taxes easier for firms by improving electronic filing and payment for social security contributions, an option now used by the majority of taxpayers.
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 93     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 92

Bolivia raised social security contribution rates for employers.
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 153     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 147

Brazil improved its credit information system by allowing private credit bureaus to collect and share positive information.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (credit information)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 126     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 120

Chile made business start-up easier by starting to provide an immediate temporary operating license to new companies, eliminating the requirement for an inspection of premises by the tax authority before new companies can begin operations, and allowing free online publication of the notice of a company’s creation. This Andean economy also strengthened its secured transactions system by implementing a unified collateral registry and a new legal framework for nonpossessory security interests. In addition, Chile made trading across borders faster by implementing an online electronic data interchange system for customs operations.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (legal rights), Trading across borders
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 39     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 41

Colombia reduced the costs associated with starting a business by no longer requiring up-front payment of the commercial license fee. It eased the administrative burden of paying taxes for firms by establishing mandatory electronic filing and payment for some of the major taxes. Colombia also amended regulations governing insolvency proceedings, to simplify the proceedings and reduce their time and cost.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Paying taxes, Resolving insolvency
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 42     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 47

Costa Rica made transferring property easier and quicker by making property certificates available online through a single website. In addition, online payment of social security contributions is now widespread and used by the majority of taxpayers.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property, Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 121     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 121

Dominica
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 65     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 64

The Dominican Republic made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement for a proof of deposit of capital when establishing a new company.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 108     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 105

Ecuador
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 130     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 131

El Salvador strengthened investor protections by allowing greater access to corporate information during trial.
Areas of business regulation reform: Protecting investors
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 112     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 112

Grenada
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 73     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 68

Guatemala
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 97     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 93

Guyana made starting a business easier by reducing the time needed for registering a new company and for obtaining a tax identification number. But it made getting electricity more expensive by tripling the security deposit required for a new connection. In addition, transferring property became slower because of a lack of personnel at the deed registry.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting electricity (making it more difficult), Registering property (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 114     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 113

Haiti made dealing with construction permits costlier by increasing the fees to obtain a building permit.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 174     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 166

Honduras strengthened its secured transactions system through a new decree establishing a centralized and computerized collateral registry and providing for out-of-court enforcement of collateral upon default. This Central American economy made trading across borders faster by implementing a web-based electronic data interchange system and X-ray machines at the port of Puerto Cortes. Honduras made paying taxes costlier for firms by raising the solidarity tax rate. And a new civil procedure code made enforcing a contract more difficult by modifying litigation procedures.
Areas of business regulation reform: Getting credit (legal rights), Trading across borders, Paying taxes (making it more difficult), Enforcing contracts (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 128     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 130

Jamaica
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 88     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 85

Mexico made dealing with construction permits faster by consolidating internal administrative procedures. In addition, it strengthened its secured transactions system by implementing a centralized collateral registry with an electronic database that is accessible online. Mexico also continued to ease the administrative burden of paying taxes for firms by ending the requirement to file a yearly value added tax return and reducing filing requirements for other taxes.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits, Getting credit (legal rights), Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 53     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 54

Nicaragua made transferring property more efficient by introducing a fast-track procedure for registration. In addition, this Central American economy made paying taxes easier for companies by promoting electronic filing and payment of the major taxes, an option now used by the majority of taxpayers. Nicaragua also raised the monetary threshold for commercial claims that can be brought to the Managua local civil court. That leaves lower-value claims in the local courts, where proceedings are simpler and faster.
Areas of business regulation reform: Registering property, Paying taxes, Enforcing contracts
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 118     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 122

Panama extended the operating hours of the public registry, reducing the time required to register a new company.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 61     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 63

Paraguay made dealing with construction permits easier by implementing a risk-based approval system and a single window for obtaining construction permits. In addition, Paraguay improved its credit information system by establishing an online platform for financial institutions to exchange information with the public credit registry. The introduction of new tax declarations that must be filed monthly made paying taxes more burdensome for companies, however.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits, Getting credit (credit information), Paying taxes (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 102     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 100

Peru made starting a business easier by eliminating the requirement for micro and small enterprises to deposit start-up capital in a bank before registration. It strengthened investor protections through a new law allowing minority shareholders to request access to nonconfidential corporate documents. In addition, Peru made paying taxes easier for companies by improving electronic filing and payment of the major taxes and promoting the use of the electronic option among the majority of taxpayers.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Protecting investors, Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 41     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 39

Puerto Rico (territory of the United States) made starting a business easier by merging the name search and company registration procedures. And it made dealing with construction permits easier by creating the Office of Permits Management to streamline procedures.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Dealing with construction permits
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 43     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 42

St. Kitts and Nevis made paying taxes easier by introducing a value added tax.
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 95     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 84

St. Lucia
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 52     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 48

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 75     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 66

Suriname
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 158     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 153

Trinidad and Tobago made dealing with construction permits costlier by increasing the fees for building permit approvals.
Areas of business regulation reform: Dealing with construction permits (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 68     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 76

Uruguay made starting a business easier by establishing a one-stop shop for general commercial companies. It also improved its credit information system, by introducing a new online platform allowing access to credit reports for financial institutions, public utilities, and borrowers.
Areas of business regulation reform: Starting a business, Getting credit (credit information)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 90     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 107

República Bolivariana de Venezuela made paying taxes costlier for firms by doubling the municipal economic activities tax (sales tax).
Areas of business regulation reform: Paying taxes (making it more difficult)
Rank in Doing Business 2012: 177     Rank in Doing Business 2011: 175

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For more information on Doing Business 2012, please contact:
Nadine Ghannam +1 (202) 473-3011 
E-mail: nsghannam@ifc.org

Sushmitha Narsiah +1 (202) 473-0995
E-mail: snarsiah@worldbank.org

Contacts for region-specific queries on Doing Business 2012:
Latin America and the Caribbean

Adriana Gomez +1 (202) 458-5204
E-mail: agomez@ifc.org

Stevan Jackson  +1 (202) 458-5054
E-mail: Sjackson@worldbank.org