The 10 Best Cities in the World to Move Your Business

The world is a more globalized place than it’s ever been. Spurred on by the pandemic-born realization that working from home with modern internet speeds was actually doable, globetrotting workers are looking for the best cities to start a business and bring their companies with them. 

It’s important to remember that not all cities are made equal when it comes to running a business. Corporate taxes, income taxes, infrastructure, available labor force, language barriers, and more all come into play when trying to select the best cities for business, so keep them in mind. 


If you’re still unsure about moving to your new city, try using expat services to help with the nitty gritty. They can save you a lot of headaches during your move to a new city.


Dubai is undisputedly one of the best cities for business, if not one of the top cities for business. It is a modern city with incredible amenities and was seemingly created as a businessman’s dream metropolis. Dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, and registering property were all rated in the top 10 of over 190 economies by the Doing Business project in 2020

Corporate taxes are incredibly low in Dubai, affirming its position as a business city. Income under AED375,000 (about $100,000) is 0%. Taxes only kick in at a 9% rate above AED375,000, with further taxes reserved mostly for large international corporations. Further, certain businesses qualify to be completely exempt from corporate tax altogether. 

Dubai is undoubtedly one of the best cities to start a business in the world, so take it into consideration when researching. 

Hong Kong

If you’re asking yourself, “where is the best place to start a business,” be sure to check out Hong Kong. The 2020 Doing Business report put Hong Kong in the top ten for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, protecting minority investors, and paying taxes. 3 of those categories even made the top 5!

Aside from that, the other categories that include property registration, getting credit, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency all made the top 51, making Hong Kong one of the easiest business cities on the planet. 

Corporate taxes are also low in Hong Kong, with 8.25% and 7.5% for the first HK$ 2 million (about $250,000) for corporations and unincorporated businesses, respectively. This goes up to 16.5% and 15% if earnings go above this. 

With its ease of trade over borders and the Chinese economy right on the doorstep, Hong Kong is definitely one of the top cities for business.


Singapore is another one of the best cities for business that gives easy access to the Chinese market. They scored in the top 7 for starting a business, dealing with construction permits, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, and even scoring first for enforcing contracts. They even scored in the top 50 for all other categories, placing them firmly as one of the top cities for business.

Moving a business to Singapore is easy (at least as far as paperwork and legality), and your company can enjoy low tax rates or outright exemption. Corporate tax rates are a flat 17%, but partial tax exemptions are available, as is a three-year start-up tax exemption. Of the first SGD10,000 (about $7,000), 75% can be exempt, while the following SGD190,000 (~$140,000) can have 50% exemption. 

Singapore is one of the best cities for businesses that want to start up, and the numbers show it. 


Sydney and indeed all of Australia ranked high in the categories of enforcing contracts, getting credit, dealing with construction permits, and starting a business. In most other categories, rankings from the Doing Business project were in the top 30%, with the exception of trading across borders. 

Sydney has a strong startup culture and offers a friendly approach to new businesses, which is why the city is home to several start-up incubators and accelerators. It has a corporate tax rate of between 25% and 30% and has a well educated and eager labor force. The business culture of Sydney is one of respect and expectation for hard work, making Sydney one of the best cities for business in the world. 


London is a well-known business city and home to one of the largest banking cultures in the world. It’s a city where new businesses work astride older institutions, and international trade is a daily occurrence. Doing Business puts London in the top 20 for starting a business, getting electricity, and protecting minority investors, while every other category is in the top 20% globally. 

The corporate tax rate in London is on the low end for a major historic western European city at 19% though this rate can go as low as just 10%. London is comparatively difficult for some new businesses, but those that understand the unique opportunities presented by the UK capital can make a huge impact quickly. London promotes entrepreneurship, and to that end, 75% of the 2.4 million businesses in the UK don’t have any employees, opting instead for self-owned ventures. 


Toronto is one of the most unique settings for business cities in North America. It scored in the top 20 for starting a business, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, and resolving insolvency. It also scored in the top 33% for dealing with construction permits, registering property, and trading across borders. The only low scores were getting electricity and enforcing contracts. 

All ratings aside, Toronto is one of the easiest cities to start a business in the world. The economic recession in the USA largely did not affect the Canadian economy, and Toronto has become a haven for startups and incubators. Corporate tax rates are between 11.5% and 14% but also have small business rates as low as 3.2%. The city recently has had a huge influx of freelancers, making it one of the best cities for businesses oriented toward digital nomads. Make sure you choose the right service providers if you are considering moving your business to Toronto, and be aware of all the potential pitfalls.


Like other east Asian metropolises, Seoul is one of the best cities for business in the world. The Doing Business project placed every nearly business-oriented category in the top 20%, with the only outlier being getting credit which scored in the top 35%. The South Korean government supports expat business ventures through government guidance, resource assistance from Invest Korea, generous tax incentives, financial support, and even direct cash grants. 

Corporate taxes for non-resident are only based on income from Korean-sourced income and works on a sliding scale between 10% and 25% based on your income. Note that there is also local tax. 

Aside from learning Korean, which is a must if you intend to do business long term in Seoul, the city is one of the best cities for business in the world, and entrepreneurs that put in the work can turn a profit in as little as 2 months. 


Wellington is a bit of an outlier for this list in that it is located in remote New Zealand and is not considered a true metropolis, but it is nonetheless one of the best cities for business in the world. Wellington’s government is dedicated to helping new businesses grow through its Business Growth services and features a regional partner network that can help you understand what you’re getting into while also making valuable contacts. Several business accelerators, start-up programs, and R&D opportunities already exist in the city.

Corporate tax rates in New Zealand are at a flat 28%.


The city of love is also one of the best cities for business. Paris scored first place for trading across borders, with most of its other categories ranked in the top 30% of the world. The only low marks Paris scored were in registering property in the densely populated city, and getting credit. 

According to the Ernst & Young G20 Entrepreneurship Barometer, France is one of the easiest EU countries to start a business in. There are fewer steps, it’s relatively inexpensive, and processing times are lower in most cases. As of 2022, France has made its corporate tax rate a flat 25% regardless of income, while smaller companies can qualify for a rate of just 15%, a low tax rate for the EU. Definitely, one to check out if you don’t mind learning some French. 

San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the best cities for business and easily one of the best places for tech startups. 

More than 94,000 people in the city work in the tech industry, and the city has some of the best education in the country, making it a great place to build a team of educated and dedicated workers in the tech industry. It also offers businesses access to both capital and credibility as it is home to the tech capital of the world, Silicon Valley. 

Corporate tax rates in the city are low by world standards at just 8.84% or 6.65% depending on the claim type. While it’s not as far flung, San Francisco should definitely be on any tech startup’s radar.