The best (and worst) places in the world to be a freelancer

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Susan Devaney
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New research has revealed the best (and worst) places across the globe to make it as a successful freelancer. 

As more Millennials continue to swap out the traditional nine-to-five job for  freelancing, there’s been no better time to consider the career switch than in 2018.

Which is why a recent study has done all the leg work to find out exactly where in the world provides the most fruitful returns for those of us who want to be our own boss.

The researchers conducted their study across 57 countries, considering eight factors in the life of a freelancer: cost of living; income tax; access to credit; average internet speed; transport networks; free Wi-Fi availability; cost of a coffee and how easily someone can set-up their own business. Then, by drawing comparison between them all, calculated an average for each country.

If you’re keen to be your own decision maker, here are the top 10 places across the world to be a freelancer: 

10) Czech Republic

With the cost of coffee averaging at £1.46 and over 36,000 free Wi-Fi spots available, it’s a pretty good place to freelance. 

9) Bulgaria

Offering the cheapest cappuccino in the world, averaging at 94p, it’s a freelancer’s dream come true. 

8) Estonia

With a relatively low cost of living and good transport links, Estonia scoops number eight out of the top ten. 

7) New Zealand

Scoring the best in terms of ease in opening a business across the country, New Zealand may have a high cost of living but other factors (like transport links) allow it to swoop in at number seven. 

6) Spain

With a cup of coffee costing around £1.35 and over 102,000 free Wi-Fi spots available, Spain is offering its freelancers an easier life. 

5) United Kingdom

Thankfully, the UK comfortably made it into the top 10. From good transport infrastructure and internet connect speed to access to credit, it’s a pretty good place to be your own boss. 

4) United Arab Emirates

The UAE offers a completely tax-free life. Enough said. 

3) South Korea

South Korea may have a high cost of living, but with a great ranking for access to credit and seriously easy access for opening your own company, it’s a very good place to be. 

2) USA

Sliding in at a cool second, the USA not only provides potential business owners with great availability to funding, but also a very high number of free Wi-Fi spots too. 

1) Hong Kong 

Not only does the city of Hong Kong offer the lowest income tax rates (15%) but business owners will find it a lot easier to set-up shop. And, the futuristic city has the best transport network system in the world. 

If you’re planning an imminent move to other shores for work then consider thinking twice about these options before making the move:

10) Peru 

You may be able to grab yourself a coffee for £1.68, but with low access to credit for citizens Peru, comes in at number 10. 

9) Belgium

Entering at number nine is Belgium. Although surprising, the country has a high cost of living and high income tax.

8) Ireland

Similar to Belgium, our Irish neighbour also has a high cost of living and income tax. 

7) Costa Rica

As it’s pretty difficult to start your own company and gain access to free Wi-Fi, Costa Rica swoops in at number seven. 

6) Slovenia

With little access to free Wi-Fi and a slow connection speed (if you do manage to find some), Slovenia is not the best option for a freelancer. 

5) Ecuador

Ecuador may be home to some seriously stunning scenery, but with the country making it difficult to start a business and poor transport links, life as a freelancer wouldn’t be too joyful. 

4) Philippines

With poor access to free Wi-Fi and difficulty setting up your own company, the Philippines is best kept as a holiday destination. 

3) Israel

With a high cost of living and income tax, Israel doesn’t cater to freelancers. 

2) Argentina

Argentina may be a great holiday destination but with little access to credit and only a small chance of starting up your own business, life as a freelancer would be tough. 

1) Uruguay 

Uruguay’s little access to free Wi-Fi and high cost of living places it at number one. 

Images: Unsplash 


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Susan Devaney

Susan Devaney is a digital journalist for, writing about fashion, beauty, travel, feminism, and everything else in-between.