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Australia makes top 20 countries for online business ... but we're behind the Kiwis


Australia has made the top 20 countries to start an online business coming in at 19, one place behind New Zealand, which ranked highly for its benefits for startups.

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But there was a trade off. Apart from the US, the best countries for an internet-based business also were considered to have higher corporate taxes.

Australia ranked poorly for its broadband speeds while Europe dominated the list with Denmark winning ahead of Switzerland, the Netherlands and then the US.

Seven of the top 10 countries were in Europe.

The survey, conducted by US comparison website Best Accounting Software, said e-commerce was growing year-on-year, with eMarketer forecasting global sales worth $US6.5 trillion by 2023, accounting for 22 percent of all retail sales, up from 14.1 percent in 2019.

The survey took in 20 categories across 99 countries and found the majority of countries most suited to starting an online business were located in Europe.

“Joined by the US, Canada, and Singapore, these countries provide an all-around great starting point for your next business venture – but, the perks of these locations tend to be met with a higher corporate tax rate,” the survey found.

None of the countries came out on top across all of the categories.

The United Arab Emirates won the category for the best internet speeds. Average speeds in the UAE were 129.61 megabits per second (Mbps), more than 4 per cent faster than second-place China, which was the only other country to exceed 100 Mbps.

Singapore was the best for fixed broadband and was the only country to exceed 200 Mbps for its fixed broadband speeds, enjoying average rates of 229.42Mbps.

The best for paying bills and online shopping was Norway where 89 per cent of the population use the internet for online purchases or paying bills, closely followed by 88% in fellow Nordic countries, Denmark and Finland.

The best country for internet users was the UAE. This was not related to online freedom but about the ability of a business to access the population. The survey found 99 per cent of the UAE population use the internet. It was also number one for social media users. The UAE has 9.7 million people using some form of social media.

Australia topped the list for the best for payment processing providers, but shares the podium with a host of other countries with a perfect score.

Singapore topped the list for economic freedom and New Zealand won the best for startups because it had just one procedure required to register a business compared with Venezuela where there were 20 procedures needed before you starting, which could take more than seven months.

The best for digital skills was Finland. According to World Bank data, Finland has the most digitally skilled workers, scoring 5.83 out of 7.

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