Case Studies

Doing Business case studies highlight the specific experience of an economy or region in improving important aspects of business regulation. They offer an insight into regulatory issues faced by policy makers, challenges they had to overcome, and the impact of their initiative.
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Featured Case Studies

Starting a business: Third-party involvement in company formation

Formalization has many benefits. Formally registered companies tend to have greater profits, investments and productivity, while their employees benefit from social security and other legal protections. Yet, in many economies around the world, entrepreneurs continue to face excessively burdensome entry regulation. Formalizing a business may involve multiple interactions with government agencies and with third-party private professionals whose services are either required by law or desirable because of regulatory complexity.

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Dealing with construction permits: Assessing quality control and safety mechanisms

This year Doing Business introduces a new indicator to measure the quality of the construction permitting system. The case study presents the summary of the main findings of the new indicator. When it comes to accessibility of regulations, the findings show that in 68% of economies the building regulations are available online. Finally, the analysis shows that economies with more efficient construction permitting systems have better quality control and safety mechanisms in place. Read more »

Getting electricity: Measuring reliability, prices and transparency

This year a new index has been introduced to measure the reliability of electricity supply and transparency of tariffs. A reliable electricity supply is vital for the operation of any business, as is the transparency of the tariffs for the advance planning of future expenses. The new index is based on quantitative data on the duration and frequency of power outages as well as qualitative information on how utilities and regulators handle power outages, and how tariffs and tariff changes are communicated to customers. As Doing Business data suggest, governments can use regulatory measures to encourage good practices in electricity supply systems. Read more »

Registering property: The paths of digitization

Over the past five years 37 economies computerized their land registry. The average time required to register a property transfer in these economies fell by almost 40% while the global average only decreased by 7%. The transition from a paper-based land administration system to a digital one involves several considerations, including the legal framework, technological capabilities, and human and social factors. Once an appropriate legal framework and data system have been established, the land records can be converted into a digital format so that they are properly stored and protected from the effects of time (excessive use, moisture) or even natural disasters (floods, earthquakes). Beyond going digital, land registries can develop new services and be connected to other agencies.

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Trading across borders: A new approach to measuring trade processes

This year’s report introduces important changes in the methodology for the indicators, which are aimed at increasing the economic and policy relevance of the indicators. Under the new methodology, Doing Business measures the time and cost for three sets of procedures needed for exporting and importing: documentary compliance, border compliance and domestic transport. For the first time this year, Doing Business considers the product of comparative advantage for each economy when measuring export procedures, while for import procedures it focuses on a single, very common manufactured product (auto parts).

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Enforcing contracts: Measuring good practices in the judiciary

Doing Business 2016 introduces an important change in methodology for the enforcing contracts indicators. While it continues to measure the time and cost to resolve a standardized commercial dispute, it now also tests whether each economy has adopted a series of good practices that promote quality and efficiency in the commercial court system. This case study discusses many of these good practices and concludes that economies with more judicial good practices in place tend to have faster and less costly contract enforcement.

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Resolving insolvency: New funding and business survival

New funding provided to a debtor company after the start of insolvency proceedings – known as post-commencement finance - helps businesses in financial distress to recover. Doing Business collects data on specific aspects of insolvency laws and regulations in each economy, including the availability and priority of post-commencement finance. The data show possible connections between the existence of regulations on post-commencement finance and the likelihood of business survival. This case study shows that business rescue is more likely in economies where the law provides for post-commencement finance. Read more »

Measuring the cost of red tape

This note estimates the costs to firms from inefficient business regulations. Using the Doing Business data, we identify the time it takes in countries around the world for 6 major transactions regulated by governments: starting a business, transferring property, paying business taxes, exporting goods, importing goods and using courts to resolve a commercial dispute. Based on the data, we estimate that if the governments of 90 economies had applied best practice in regulating business entry in 2012, more than 45 million days of entrepreneurs’ time could have been saved.

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Measuring trade facilitation step by step: findings from a sample of 10 economies

In 2014 the Doing Business project’s Trading across Borders team took on additional research aimed at providing new data to complement existing tools for benchmarking in trade facilitation. The study applied a time-and-motion approach to map out the step-by-step procedures in trade. The research focused on 10 economies: Bangladesh, Benin, China, the Czech Republic, Honduras, the Republic of Korea, Moldova, Qatar, St. Lucia and Zambia.

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Subnational Case Studies

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