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Iceland Report

Entrepreneurial Missions Index


General Information


317,398 (163rd most populous country in the world)



Lutheran 80.7% Icelandic
Roman Catholic          2.5% English
Reykjavik Free   2.4% Nordic
Hafnarfjorour Free   1.6% German
Other    3.6%
Unaffiliated    3.0%
None   6.2%


Fish processing, aluminum smelting, ferrosilicon production, geothermal power, hydropower, tourism

Unless otherwise noted, all information included here was obtained from the World Factbook project 4, conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). For more detailed information about Iceland, visit

Business Information

The World Bank ranks Iceland as 0 out of 183 economies in terms of ease of doing business. The country ranks as 0 (of 183) in terms of ease of starting a business.

It requires 0 procedures, takes 0 days, and costs N/A% of income per capita to start a business in Iceland.

The World Bank ranks Iceland as 14th out of 183 economies in terms of ease of doing business.  The country ranks as 33rd (of 183) in terms of ease of starting a business.

It requires 5 procedures, takes 5 days, and costs 3% of income per capita to start a business in Iceland.

In order to start a business in Iceland, one must follow these procedures:

  1. Search for company name
  2. Deposit initial capital in bank account
  3. Apply for registration with Register of Limited Companies (Director of Internal Revenue)
  4. Obtain VAT number from Director of Taxes
  5. Notify tax authorities of employment of workers

Unless otherwise noted, all information included here was obtained from the Doing Business project 3, conducted by the World Bank. For more detailed information about starting a business in Iceland, visit


The World Economic Forum (WEF) was founded in 1971 by Klaus Martin Schwab at the University of Geneva in Switzerland.  It is a non-profit foundation best known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, which brings together top business leaders, international political leaders, selected intellectuals and journalists to discuss both economic and social issues facing the world.  The WEF also serves as a think tank, and publishes a wide range of reports focusing on issues of concern and importance to Forum communities. In particular, Strategic Insight Teams focus on producing reports of relevance in the fields of competitiveness, global risks and scenario thinking.  The Global Competitiveness Report measures competitiveness of countries and economic competitiveness among a wide range of factors such as corruption, tax rates, work ethic, and many others.


Iceland Economic Freedom

The annual survey Economic Freedom of the World is an indicator produced by the Fraser Institute, a libertarian think tank which attempts to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations. Economic Freedom of the World index has been more widely used than any other measure of economic freedom, because of its coverage of a longer time period

Their measure of economic freedom is based on that the following standards:

  • Personal choice rather than collective choice,
  • Voluntary exchange coordinated by markets rather than allocation via the political process,
  • Freedom to enter and compete in markets, and
  • Protection of persons and their property from aggression by others.

A state will rate high when it focuses on protection of people and their property from the actions of aggressors, enforcement of contracts, and provision of the limited set of public goods like roads, flood control projects, and money of stable value and little else, but a country’s rating on the EFW summary index will fall as government expenditures increase and regulations expand.   

1A General government consumption spending as a percentage of total consumption 3
Area 1-A Data 29.6
1B Transfers and subsidies as a percentage of GDP 8
Area 1-B Data 7.9
1C Government enterprises and investment 10
Area 1-C Data 11.2
1Di Top marginal income tax rate 7
Area 1-Di Data 39
1Dii Top marginal income and payroll tax rates 6
Area 1-Dii Data 42
1D Top marginal tax rate 6.5
1 Size of Government: Expenditures, Taxes, and Enterprises 6.9
2A Judicial independence (GCR) 8.2
2B Impartial courts (GCR) 7.8
2C Protection of property rights (GCR) 8.9
2D Military interference in rule of law and the political process (CRG) 10
2E Integrity of the legal system (CRG) 10
2F Legal enforcement of contracts (DB) 7.1
2G Regulatory restrictions on the sale of real property (DB) 9.1
2 Legal Structure and Security of Property Rights 8.7
3A Money growth 4.9
Area 3-A Data 25.4
3B Standard deviation of inflation 8.7
Area 3-B Data 3.21
3C Inflation: Most recent year 9
Area 3-C Data 5.06
3D Freedom to own foreign currency bank accounts 10
3 Access to Sound Money 8.2
4Ai Revenues from trade taxes (% of trade sector) 9.7
Area 4-A(i) Data 0.5
4Aii Mean tariff rate 8.5
Area 4-A(ii) Data 7.3
4Aiii Standard deviation of tariff rates 0
Area 4-A(iii) Data 31.3
4A Taxes on international trade 6.1
4Bi Non-tariff trade barriers (GCR) 5.7
4Bii Compliance cost of importing and exporting (DB) 8
4B Regulatory Trade Barriers 6.9
4C Size of the trade sector relative to expected 1
4D Black-market exchange rates 10
4Ei Foreign ownership/investment restrictions (GCR) 5.9
4Eii Capital Controls 3.8
4E International Capital Market Controls 4.9
4 Freedom to Trade Internationally 5.8
5Ai Ownership of banks 10
5Aii Foreign bank competition 8
5Aiii Private sector credit 10
5Aiv Interest rate controls/negative real interest rates 9
5A Credit Market Regulations 9.2
5Bi Minimum wage (DB) 6.1
5Bii Hiring and firing regulations (GCR) 7.1
5Biii Centralized collective bargaining (GCR) 6
5Biv Mandated cost of hiring (DB) 6.4
5Bv Mandated cost of worker dismissal (DB) 8.8
5Bvi Conscription 10
5B Labor Market Regulations 7.4
5Ci Price controls 8
5Cii Administrative requirements (GCR) 6.2
5Ciii Bureaucracy costs (GCR) 2.4
5Civ Starting a business (DB) 9.8
5Cv Extra payments/bribes (GCR) 9.5
5Cvi Licensing restrictions (DB) 9.7
5Cvii Cost of tax compliance (DB) 8.4
5C Business Regulations 7.7
5 Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business 8.1
Rank c 24

Iceland Summary


1 World Economic Forum

2 Free the World
Gwartney, James and Robert Lawson with Herbert Grubel, Jakob de Haan, Jan-Egbert Sturm, and Eelco Zandberg (2009). Economic Freedom of the World: 2009 Annual Report. Vancouver, BC: The Fraser Institute. Data retrieved from

3 World Bank Data

4 World Factbook Project