Global accounting and consulting firm Ernst and Young published a study last week, which it described as an "entrepreneurship barometer." While the United States faired very well in three of the categories (third in education and training, tops in entrepreneurial culture and access to financing), it ranked just 13th in taxes and regulation.
Should that be a concern when incorporating your business in the U.S.?
A closer look at the study suggests the answer is "no." In coming up with their metrics, Ernst & Young blended data from sources like the World Bank with information culled from surveying entrepreneurs and others. When the results are parsed, it turns out that the hard data and the surveys paint two different pictures.
While the United States ranked well above average in every statistical measure presented for taxes and regulation, including time spent on tax issues, cost of firing an employee and number of days needed to start a business, entrepreneurs remained unsatisfied. This dragged down the qualitative score, and it turn brought down the country's overall grade.
Marc Andersen, who leads the international government and public sector consulting practice at Ernst & Young, provided an explanation for the dichotomy.
"It's not about being better than that other country, it's how much better we can be. That's part of being a leader. I think there's a fundamental recognition that it's never going to be good enough. We have to keep pushing," he told the New York Times.
So fear not: incorporating your business in the United States remains a wise choice by any metric. If anything, the study is encouraging: it shows that American businesses won't settle for anything less than excellence.