Locating International Business Regulations


Some of the information in this post may be out of date. Please speak to a librarian for more up to date information. 

The reality of global business competition makes the regulatory environment in each country particularly relevant for businesses seeking new markets.  Businesspeople and students researching a country’s business regulations now have subscription and free sources available to them that make it easy to get a basic understanding of a particular country’s regulatory laws.  A couple favorite sources include the EIU Country Commerce, a subscription database, and the Doing Business site developed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank.

Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is a prolific and well-regarded publisher of country economic and market data and information.  The Country Commerce library database is a repository of information intended for business people opening a new business or a subsidiary in a foreign country who need information on the country’s legal environment.  Select your country from a list of countries provided and then select the latest main report available.  Reports for each country are in a standardized format that includes, but is not limited to, information on the regulatory environment, human resources, corporate taxes, personal taxes, competition policy, trade policy, and intellectual property and e-commerce.  Charts of data are included and listed in the table of contents for easy access.

Doing Business: Measuring Business Regulations
This free site from the IFC and World Bank has developed and improved over the past several years, and has become one of the best sources of free information to determine the ease or difficulty of doing business in 183 countries.   Coverage for individual countries is available in print and electronic formats, as is a ranking of the ease of doing in business in selected or all countries.  A Law Library section of the site provides what it claims is “the largest free online collection of business laws and regulations.”  The site is easy to navigate and provides options for selecting specific sections of each country’s laws and regulations.  A sampling of available laws includes banking and credit, bankruptcy, civil codes, commercial and company laws, labor and tax laws.

Additional sources subscription sources for international business and regulatory law include the Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest .  Additional free internet sites with information include Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute  National Law Library, the American Society of International Law EISIL research tool, the Washburn University School of Law foreign law page, and the HG.org law and government resources by country.

Need more help finding international regulatory law?  Ask a reference librarian…we’re always glad to help!