What is the best country to start a company?
It all depends which kind of company you want to open. You might want to answer following questions before start searching anything specific: 1. Does you business depend on location or Is it online business? 2. What kind of market you need or what's the minimum market size for your business to be successful? 3. Are you willing to put extra hours to tackle issues government bureaucracy creates? 4. Are you planning to receive investments?
I would like answer those questions for myself: 1. No, my business doesn't depend on location, it's an online business 2. Market for my services is any country that speaks languages i speak. 3. No, I would like to focus on my business 4. No, I don't plan to receive investments.
I will explain why Hong Kong is the best country for my business, Because it has 5th position in doing business, it has one of the least corporate tax in the world, also it doesn't have VAT tax. Also most of online processing systems support Hong Kong companies. Opening company in Hong Kong will take just a day, doesn't need you present when establishing company, doesn't tax offshore profits. There is a lot of companies in Hong Kong offering good services like virtual assistant / accounting / legal advice .. etc.
Also I would like to note that, this year Hong Kong increased company registration free. Hong Kong doesn't have any restrictions on working hours, employees can work even during holidays of at night (which is crucial for startups).
In other scenarios you might want to consider countries like China, USA, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland etc.
For example if you developing hardware it's better if you are close to producers, in that case China is a great option. If you are planning to get good investment United States is number one. If you have a lot of money, you want to invest and relocate there - New Zealand have great initiatives for you (also ranks number one in Ease of doing business index). Another option for business is Singapore - but keep in mind it's an authoritarian country with some strict rules. If you want to sell to European Market - I would advice Ireland as it has one the lowest tax in Europe. There is also tax heavens like Panama, Bermuda, Cayman Islands ..etc. But not all payments processing services or banks support transactions with companies that reside there.