Travel,  Work

10 best countries to be a freelancer

I’ve always been one to test boundaries. The predictability of a 9 to 5 career would never have kept me content for long. Now in hindsight, I am proud to have stuck with the slog for as long as I did – despite the frequent mindnumbing boredom. But sometimes it is within finding that which we don’t want, we find what we do.

I found freelancing.

If the idea of going freelance and charting your own course is something which appeals to your senses and you’re one step to exiting the matrix, fear not young padawan, there is hope yet!

Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs, remote workers, digital nomads, freelancers and location independents. The lovely people of the UK B2B comparison site, Expert Market have produced a ranking of the best countries to be based for those who wish to take on the world on their own terms.

Taking 57 countries around the world, they looked at both economic and lifestyle factors in each. They combined data on a number of key influencers including the cost of living; access to credit; standard internet speeds; quality of the transport system; the number of free wifi spots; the cost of a cup of coffee (very important); individual income tax rates, and the difficulty of starting a business.

These are the 10 best countries in the world to be a freelancer, ranked in ascending order:

10. Czech Republic

The Czech Republic scored solid marks across all categories, making cities like Prague a really good bet for the self-employed.


9. Bulgaria

Besides the low-income tax rates which would make Bulgaria the main drawcard for any freelancer, it also – for us coffee lovers – has the cheapest coffee on the top 10 list, at an average of just £0.94 a cup. That’s cheaper than a cuppa in South Africa!


8. Estonia

Estonia scored solid marks across the board. The digital nomad visa, digital infrastructure and cheap transport are huge highlights. Tallin is one city worth keeping an eye one.


7. New Zealand

Though their neighbours Australia are inclined to be more popular among young professionals, New Zealand wins the day with cheap and cheerful coffee, faster internet, AND the breezier processes for starting a business.


6. Spain

Te gusta ir a la playa? There is no doubt that the beaches of Barcelona alone are enough to look at a move to Spain! But did you know, Spain is also home to good transport, cheap coffee, credit access and an abundance of wifi hotspots?


5. United Kingdom

The land of the royals has the mid spot on the top 10 list. Cities like London and Manchester make it easy to enter the freelance market with low barriers to entry. Good access to credit and transport have working in the UK even more appealing for the solopreneur.


4. The United Arab Emirates

The UAE is the only country in the top 10 to offer a zero rate of income tax. Now with the “Go Freelance” initiative which will cut registration fees to around Dhs7,500 a year ( a 70% reduction from the previous package), the likes of Dubai and Abu Dhabi will go on to tempt countless more independents.


3. South Korea

It is a third-place spot for Seoul and Busan. A strong ranking in the Cost of Living Index, good access to credit and fast internet, South Korea seems set to attract many more freelancers to its shores in the future.


2. The United States

The USA comes in second place – in part – 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.


1. Hong Kong

The global market is shifting at an astronomical pace. Hong Kong is at the forefront of that race this year. If you are considering taking on a freelance or self-governed position the financial hub and startup scene in Hong Kong is the best place to be right now. According to the ranking, HK holds top marks for the best public transport, a low-income tax rate, and first-class internet connection.

At the bottom end of the scale, are the worst places to be a freelancer or solopreneur. The countries (sadly and surprisingly) include the likes of Israel, Ireland and Belgium. Here’s the full list:

1. Uruguay

2. Argentina

3. Israel

4. Philippines

5. Ecuador

6. Slovenia

7. Costa Rica

8. Ireland

9. Belgium

10. Peru

Expert Market compared 57 countries across the globe across eight different factors to identify the list of the best places to be a freelancer, digital nomad or your own boss. In the study they compared:

a. Cost of living
b. Income tax
c. Access to credit
d. Average internet speed
e. Transport networks
f. Free wifi availability
g. Cost of a coffee
h. Ease of starting a business

They then calculated each country’s weighted average using data from all the factors above to work out an overall score.

What do you think of their findings? Do you a agree or disagree? Would you nominate a country which wasn’t selected in the overall top ten as your “freelancer favourite”?












10 best countries to be a freelancer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *