Since 2004 Doing Business has been tracking regulatory reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business. Despite the challenges presented by the financial crisis, the number of reforms hit a record level this year. Between June 2008 and May 2009, 287 reforms were recorded in 131 economies, 20% more than the year before. Reformers focused on making it easier to start and operate a business, strengthening property rights and improving the efficiency of commercial dispute resolution and bankruptcy procedures.
Doing Business 2010 is the seventh in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 183 economies—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time.
Regulations affecting 10 stages of the life of a business are measured: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, employing workers, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and closing a business. Data in Doing Business 2010 are current as of June 1, 2009. The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where and why.
The methodology for the employing workers indicators changed for Doing Business 2010. See Data notes for details. Research is ongoing in 2 new areas: getting electricity and worker protection. Initial results are presented in this report.