The country has made significant strides in enhancing the ease of doing business within its borders, reflecting a commitment to fostering a conducive business environment. Prior to its discontinuation in 2021, The World Bank’s “Doing Business” report consistently acknowledges Brunei Darussalam’s positive reforms, particularly in areas such as starting a business, getting credit, and protecting minority investors.

In the recent Economic Freedom Index report by the Fraser Institute, Brunei exhibited exceptional performance in regulatory matters, securing the second position globally with an impressive score of 8.8 out of 10.

Within the regulations category, Brunei excelled with a score of 8.8, ranking fourth globally in labour market regulation and eighth in business regulation with a score of 8.2. Globally, Brunei ranked 59th out of 165 economies in the Index based on 2020 data, the most recent available. However, there was a seven-place decline in the economic freedom ranking compared to the 2019 index, primarily attributed to lower scores in the freedom to trade internationally.

Notably, Brunei demonstrated strength in the legal system, property rights, and sound money, maintaining its scores in the size of government and regulation. Brunei ranked 59th among Southeast Asian neighbours, with Singapore in second place, Malaysia (49th), Cambodia (63rd), the Philippines (66th), Thailand (86th), Vietnam (113th), and Myanmar (137th).

Brunei also claimed the pinnacle of political stability in the 2022 Hinrich-IMD Sustainable Trade Index (STI) released by the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and the Hinrich Foundation. The country exhibited a robust societal framework committed to avoiding goods produced through forced labour or child labour, further solidifying its position as a leader in sustainable trade practices.

Starting a business in Brunei

Businesses wishing to start operations in Brunei must be registered with the Registry of Companies and Business Names (ROCBN) at www.roc.gov.bn. Business entities can register as a sole proprietorship, partnership or company.

Meanwhile, job openings can be advertised via JobCentre Brunei (JCB) through www.jobcentrebrunei.gov.bn. Companies may also request for suitable candidates directly from JCB for any specific requirements such as work experience or field of study. If an employer does not find a suitable local candidate after two weeks from the date of posting vacancies, they may apply for a foreign local licence via the Department of Labour.

For comprehensive insights into conducting business in Brunei, the businessBN website serves as a valuable resource on guidelines, government procedures, legislation, and other essential information. Business owners seeking personalised assistance can engage directly with a customer service representative at the Business Support Centre in Anggerek Desa.


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