Here's what makes it easy (and difficult) to do business in Ireland

The country ranked 17th in a World Bank ‘ease of doing business’ global study.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

IRELAND CLIMBED ONE place in a global ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, which pundits say could help with the island’s bid to become a post-Brexit hub.

The country place 17th in the World Bank’s analysis of doing business in 190 nations, although its overall score dropped 0.19 points to 79.5.

Ireland was sandwiched between Lithuania and Canada in the list. The top three scorers were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark.

The island placed fourth in the eurozone and seventh in the European Union, which Goodbody stockbrokers said puts Ireland in a good position in terms of attracting business from UK firms looking to relocate after Brexit.

“The ranking should be seen as a reminder of Ireland’s high ranking in the context of attracting (foreign direct investment), particularly in the context of Brexit,” Goodbody pundits said in a morning briefing note.

The anlaysts noted that Ireland ranked higher than three of its main competitors for establishing post-Brexit headquarters: Germany ranked 20th in the world, France 31st and the Netherlands 32nd.

ease of business
Source: World Bank/Doing Business 2018

Click here to view a larger version.

Construction permits

The World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ measurement is based on the evaluation of 10 categories such as a business owner’s ability to register property and source credit. Ireland maintained or increased its ranking in seven out of the 10 items.

The biggest leap came from businesses ability to acquire construction permits, with the country jumping eight places to 30th position in the world.

However, the cost of dealing with building permits is still significantly higher than the OECD high income average.

According to the World Bank, the cost of acquiring a construction permit for a warehouse is equal to 4.6% of the property’s value, much higher than the OECD rate of 1.6%.

ease of business 2
Source: World Bank/Doing Business 2018

Click here to view a larger version.

Ireland maintained eighth position in the ‘starting a business’ category and came in fourth in terms of how easy it is for firms to comply with tax laws.

The country scored badly for how much time and money it costs to resolve a commercial dispute in court, ranking 98th in the world in that category – which put Ireland between Laos and the Marshall Islands.

Ireland’s score for resolving insolvency went down, although the country still ranked 17th in the world in terms of the time, cost and outcome of recovering debt when businesses fail.

Goodbody noted in its morning briefing that it’s “relatively difficult” to get credit in Ireland, with the country dropping 10 places to 42nd position. However, it should be noted that the country’s overall score in that category was unchanged.

Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.