How Many Days Does It Take to Set Up a Business in the Caribbean?


Above: Puerto Rico (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Where is the easiest place in the Caribbean to do business? That’s not an easy question to answer, although the World Bank has placed Puerto Rico and St Lucia at the top of the list in recent years.

But the World Bank has a lot of data on doing business in the Caribbean, and we thought we’d delve in. Our initial goal? To find out the countries in the Caribbean where it took the shortest amount of time to set up a business.

The World Bank data considers time required to start a business as “the number of calendar days needed to complete the procedures to legally operate a business. If a procedure can be speeded up at additional cost, the fastest procedure, independent of cost, is chosen.”

This isn’t the only indicator of ease of doing business, but it’s definitely instructive.

The results, according to the World Bank’s Doing Business Project, are that setting up a business can be done the fastest in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, in each of which it took six days to set up a business, according to data covering the year 2013.

Haiti was second-lowest on the list at 97, despite efforts by the government to shorten the process. But when you consider it took 195 days to start a business in Haiti in 2009, it’s an improvement.

Suriname was last on the list, where it took 208 days to set up a business.

See the full rankings in the CJ graphic below.

The World Bank did not include data for Aruba, the BVI, Cayman, Cuba, Curacao, St Martin and the US Virgin Islands.