United States

Ease of Doing Business Rank: 6 


Geographic location 

The United States is one of three countries in North America. Canada lies to the north and Mexico to the south.  

The country includes 50 states, two of which lie outside the mainland territory (Hawaii and Alaska). 

Spoken language 

According to the 2009 census, 80% percent of the population speaks English. A further 12.4% speak Spanish3.7% speak other Indo-European languages, 3% speak Asian and Pacific languages and 0.9% speak other languages. 


The 2019 population estimate for the United States is approximately 329.30 million inhabitants. 

The majority of the population lives in urban centers around the country. The largest cities are New York (8.17 million), Los Angeles (3.79 million), Chicago (2.70 million), Houston (2.1 million), and Phoenix (1.44 million). 

Popular industries 

The top industries in the United States are healthcare, technology, construction, retail, and non-durable manufacturing (gasoline, electricity and clothing). 


The Times Higher Education World Rankings ranked seven of the top ten universities in the world in the U.S. They also ranked a further 34 in the top 100 and dozens more in the top 1000. 

The Legatum Prosperity Index ranks the U.S education system 9th out of 149. 

Popular entity types 

The most common business entities in the United States are Sole Proprietorship, Limited Liability Company, Corporation, and Subchapter S Corporation. 

The most commonly incorporated entity in the United States is the Limited Liability Company. 

U.S. incentives for business 

The United States offers a foreign tax credit which reduces income tax liability dollarfordollar or the taxpayer can choose a tax rate reduction instead. Taxpayers can switch between the credit and reduction at any time within the first 10 years. 

The U.S. also offers credits for specific economic objectives. For instance, a work opportunity credit is available for certain qualified worker wages of up to 40 percent to a maximum of USD 2,400 per employee. 

A research credit of up to 20% is available for qualifying companies that develop new products or improve existing manufacturing processes or software.  

The New Markets Tax Credit encourages investment in low-income community businesses such as manufacturing and industrial facilities, community centers, commercial offices, retail, and mixed use properties. The credit provides a cumulative reduction of 39 percent of federal tax obligations per project and investors may qualify for loan forgiveness programs. 

Interest income received on qualified private activity bonds is generally exempt from federal income tax. State and local governments also provide many incentives to encourage investment and employment in their area. 

History & Features 


Main cities for business 

The U.S. is a large country with many business areas. New York City is the largest financial center in the world. However, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago are also large financial hubs and the country lists over 50 central business districts. 

Popular historical & tourist attractions 

The United States is one of the largest and most diverse countries in the world. As a result, it has countless manmade, natural and historical attractions. 

The U.S. has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including many natural wonders such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Everglades National Parks. 

The country is also home to a notable collection of manmade sensations including Mount Rushmore, the Kennedy Space Center, Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the Las Vegas Strip, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge and bustling Manhattan complete with the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State building. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is one of the best in the world. Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies are well-respected and known worldwide.  


Native Americans lived in the Americas for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. 

In 1607, English colonists settled in Jamestown, Virginia. Later, many other Europeans arrived from France, Spain, the Netherlands and other British nations. By 1775, the colonies in America were discontented with British taxes and rules. A war pitted thirteen colonies against Britain. 

In the end, the colonies won the war and broke free of British rule. They started a new country under the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776, followed by a constitution in 1787, and the Bill of Rights in 1791. General George Washington became the country’s first president.  

During the 19th century, the United States started to industrialize and expand. However, several Southern states attempted to separate in 1861 to form the Confederate States of America. The American Civil War ensued and the southern states were defeated. Post-war, immigration resumed and industrialization led to a booming economy.  

By the early 20th century, the United States was a world power. They fought in World War I and prospered during the Roaring Twenties. The crash of the stock market in 1929 led to the Great Depression. However, World War II stimulated the economy once again. 

After World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union became increasingly wary of each other. This led to the Cold War and escalated tension between the nations. 

The sixties and seventies led to great upheaval in the country due to negative reactions to war and the struggle for improved equality. During the eighties, the U.S. dealt with inflation, trade deficits, poor foreign policy and a bad economy. The nineties involved the U.S. in Middle Eastern conflicts. 

The 21st century included the attack on the twin towers in 2001 and the election of America’s first African-American president in 2008.  

Today, the country has a highly-developed mixed economy, the largest in the world by nominal GDP and the second-largest by purchasing power parity. 

Other relevant facts 

Christians represent 73.7% of the total population, followed by 18.2% who do not associate with an organized religion. Judaism is the next largest religious affiliation (2.1%), followed by Islam (0.8%). 

According to the 2010 U.S. census, 72.4% identify as white, 16.3% as Hispanic and Latino Americans (of any race), 12.6% as Black or African American4.8% as Asian, 0.9% as Native Americans and Alaska Natives and 0.2% as Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders. A further 2.9% identify as two or more races. 

Additional Information for Business 

According to Forbes’ 2019 Best Countries for Business, the United States is the 17th best country in the world for conducting business.  

The 2019 Index of Economic Freedom rates the United States 12th globally and states, “The U.S.’s economic freedom ranking rose six places, and its overall score in the 2019 Index is the highest recorded since 2011. This improvement reflects the impact of major regulatory and tax reforms on economic growth, investment, and business confidence. In 2018, the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point since 1969. 

World Bank’s “Doing Business” rankings rate the United States 8th for ease of doing business in the world. 

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