UK revealed as the cheapest country in Europe to start a business

New research has found that the UK is the cheapest destination in Europe for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Our experts

We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young
Direct to your inbox Email Newsletter viewed on a phone

Sign up to the Startups Weekly Newsletter

Stay informed on the top business stories with’s weekly email newsletter


New research from Tide, the business finance platform, has revealed that the United Kingdom is the cheapest country in Europe, alongside Slovenia, for entrepreneurs to set up a new business.

On average, start-up procedure in the UK – also identified as the price of registering a business – was found to cost an average of 0% of gross national income (GNI) per capita.

Cost is a large influencing factor when it comes to setting up a new business, and can be a big deterrent for prospective entrepreneurs. The research also looked at national performance indicators for 28 countries within Europe, basing their results on the size of their economy, unemployment rate, and ease of doing business.

Where is the best country to start a business overall?

According to the research, the UK scored highest overall as the best European country for startups, followed by Ireland. However, the category the UK scored poorest in was for gender pay gap, coming in outside of the top 10. Luxembourg was ranked as highest in this category.

Other countries in the top 5 for starting a business were, in order, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, and Estonia.

The full rankings can be viewed in the chart below:

Cheapest places to start a business chart

Image by Tide via

Thinking of launching your own business?

As the economy is beginning to show signs of recovery post-pandemic, now is an excellent time to start a business.

There are also lots of new business trends emerging. Ecommerce websites have skyrocketed as consumers moved online during the national lockdowns, while the demand for ethical and sustainable products has also surged.

To help you get started, read our guide to learn more about the top 10 business ideas for 2021.

Want to know more about low-budget ways to start a business? Read our comprehensive guide to the top 10 business ideas for a shoestring budget.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

Leave a comment

Leave a reply

We value your comments but kindly requests all posts are on topic, constructive and respectful. Please review our commenting policy.

Back to Top