Database of the Month: Doing Business Project from The World Bank

doing-business-projectThe Doing Business Project (DBP) –  a free resource provided by The World Bank – is an essential source of information about business regulations and their enforcement for 189 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level. Doing Business focuses on regulations affecting domestic small and medium-size companies.

Annual Doing Business reports are available back to 2004 and can be downloaded in PDF format, but researchers may find that the best way to get started is to select an economy from the homepage. This will retrieve the economy’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and business regulation summary information.

Ease of Doing Business

Choose an economy from the Explore Economy Data drop-down box to retrieve Ease of Doing Business ranking information for that economy. Topics considered in the rankings include:

  • Starting a Business
  • Dealing with Construction Permits
  • Getting Electricity
  • Registering Property
  • Getting Credit
  • Protecting Investors
  • Paying Taxes
  • Trading Across Borders
  • Enforcing Contracts
  • Resolving Insolvency

For example, here is the Ease of Doing Business In Ghana table:

Click to visit webpage.


Doing Business provides business regulation data from 2003 to the present.  Each economy’s snapshot contains detailed information on the topics included in the Ease of Doing Business ranking. For example, here is a detailed view of the “Starting a Business In Ghana” data:

Click to visit webpage.

Economy Rankings

Doing Business ranks all economies on their ease of doing business, from 1 – 189. Rankings are available for economies, regions, selected cities, income and population.

Law Library

The Doing Business Law Library contains information on business laws and regulations.  According to the Doing Business Project, “The Doing Business law library is the largest free online collection of business laws and regulations. We link to official government sources wherever possible. Translations are not official unless indicated otherwise. We update the collection regularly but are unable to guarantee that laws are the most recent version.”

Other Doing Business Project reports and information

Access the Doing Business Project / Get More Information

Researchers can access the Doing Business project online at, or via the library’s Databases A-Z and International Business Databases pages.  More information about the Doing Business Project’s objectives, coverage, methodology and data is available in this About Doing Business Guide.


Database of the Month provides a very brief introduction to an important research database, highlighting key features of the database that you should know about. If you would like more information about this database (or any of the library’s databases) please Ask a Librarian. If you would like a demonstration of this database for a class, please contact the Reference staff at