The 13 best countries to live in if you want to be your own boss

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No matter how far along you are in your career, the nine-to-five slog can get boring, and the idea of making your own hours and deadlines gets more and more attractive.

In order to inspire you to go freelance, UK B2B comparison site Expert Market has produced a ranking of the best countries to live in if you want to be your own boss.

The study looked at economic and lifestyle factors in 57 countries around the world. They combined data on the cost of living, average internet speeds, the quality of the transport system, number of free wifi spots, the cost of a cup of coffee, individual income tax rates, as well as the ease of starting a business and access to credit.

Scroll down to see the 13 best countries in the world to be self-employed, ranked in ascending order:


13. Portugal. First in the top 13, this European country has good access to credit, decent transportation, and cheap coffee at just £1.02 on average.

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Jose Manuel Ribeiro/Reuters

12. France. The home of Paris and countless cafés, France ranks highest in the top 13 on the Cost of Living Index.

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11. Latvia. Head to the likes of Riga or Daugavpils for cheap coffee and relatively low income tax rates.

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10. Czech Republic. With solid marks across all categories, Czech cities like Prague are a good bet for the self-employed.

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View from the tower of Old Town Hall in Prague, Czech Republic
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A Savin/Wikimedia Commons

9. Bulgaria. While the low income tax rates might be the main draw, it also has the cheapest coffee on this list, at an average of just £0.94 a cup.

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8. Estonia. The home of Tallinn received good marks across all scores, with cheap transport being a highlight.

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7. New Zealand. While Australia may seem more popular among young professionals, its neighbour has cheapest coffee, faster internet speeds, and the easiest procedures for starting a business.

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6. Spain. The beaches of Barcelona alone may be enough to make you consider a move, but Spain is also home to good access to credit, transport links, cheap coffee, and plenty of wifi access.

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5. United Kingdom. Cities like London and Manchester provide excellent access to credit from banks, which, paired with good transport, makes working in the UK appealing for the self-employed.

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4. United Arab Emirates. The only country in the top 10 to offer a zero rate of income tax, the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi have already tempted countless millennials.


3. South Korea. Coming in third on the list, the home of cities like Seoul and Busan has a strong ranking of the Cost of Living Index as well as good access to credit and fast internet.

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Flickr/Fahad0850

2. United States. The US comes in second place partly thanks to its access to transport. There are also a staggering amount of free wifi spots — 559,077 to be exact — making working on the go incredibly easy.

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Andrew Burton/Getty Images

1. Hong Kong. The financial hub and startup scene is the best place to live if you want to be your own boss, according to the ranking, with the best public transport on the list, a low income tax rate, and excellent internet connection.

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