Business registration and licensing

Business registration improves access to credit for SMEs

Business registration improves access to credit for SMEs, and strengthens the private sector. It also helps formalise the economy which delivers important benefits to government and civil society.

Business Registration and Construction Licence

ICF supported the Government of Burkina Faso's efforts to improve business registration, as well as simplify the application process for construction permits.

One-stop shops for business registration and licensing known as Centres de Formalités des Entreprises (CEFORE), and similar one-stop shops for construction permits know as Centres de Formalités des Actes de Construire (CEFAC) were established that have been very successful in reducing the costs and delays.

Between 2008 and 2010, the number of procedures needed to register a business has been reduced from six to four, taking three days instead of 18 and costing US$106 instead of US$350. For construction permits, the number of procedures has been reduced from 32 to 15, taking 19 days instead of 226 and costing US$480 instead of US$2,270.

Interconnection Business, Lands and Construction Services

This project aims to reduce waiting times, procedures and costs while increasing efficiency and the number of transactions in the business, land and construction sectors. This will be done by creating separate databases for land registration, business registration and construction licensing. All three databases will be connected through a joint interactive database. Registration procedures for all three will also be interconnected to allow for enhanced eRegistry. 

Business Life Cycle Services

ICF worked with the Government of Cape Verde to improve business registration, licensing and closure services. The project expanded the existing e-business registration system to include licensing and business closure services, making it a full business lifecycle service. It also enhanced the legal framework, administrative procedures and processes to incorporate the new changes in licensing and closure. One-stop-shops were extended to all nine inhabited islands in order to provide countrywide access to the new business lifecycle services.

As a result, registering a business now takes less than a third of the original time in the sectors of retail, wholesale, tourism, travel agency, civil construction, and industry. Costs for licensing wholesale and retail activities have gone down from US$ 770 to US$ 380. Companies are now able to close in 2-10 days whereas before there was no formal way to perform company closure. The one-stop-shops are also providing other benefits to citizens, including enabling them to access government services like birth and marriage certificates, tax information, and much more.

Liberia »

Business Registration

ICF worked with the Government of Liberia to design, develop and deliver a modern Business Registry that would ease enterprise formalisation and registration. The key objective was to reduce the time, cost and complexity associated with registering a business as a means to boosting private sector development in Liberia.

A single point registration system for business registration is now operational in Monrovia, Ganta and Buchanan and the timeframe to register a business has reduced from 99 days to a maximum of 6 days.

Electronic Registration

ICF is working with the Government of Mauritius to introduce an electronic Registry which would allow users to submit and pay for asset registrations online. This will make it easier for businesses and members of the public to transfer ownership of property. The aim is to reduce the time and cost for the registration of documents in Mauritius in order to foster a conducive investment climate for the private sector and members of the public.

The project is expected to reduce the time for transferring ownership of immovable property (e.g. houses) from 15 days to 1 day, and movable property (e.g. cars) from 1 day to 30 minutes. Other documents, such as affidavits, security bonds and leases will be processed within 30 minutes rather than the previous 1 day. The time taken to search the deeds archives is expected to go down from 1-2 days to 30 minutes.

Modernization of the Registrar of Companies

ICF worked with the Government of Mauritius on a project that aimed to reduce the time and cost of registering documents in Mauritius to enable the private sector and members of public to process their transactions quickly and cost effectively. The introduction of an electronic document management system for business registration has reduced the time for registering and filing statutory information and improved the quality of data collected.

The project has reduce the time it takes to register a company from half-a-day to half-an-hour, the time to file returns from 14 days to eight days and delivery of certified copies from two to three days to same-day delivery.

Business Registration and Licensing for Tourism

ICF worked with the Government of Mozambique to reduce the time and cost for business registration and licensing in the tourism sector by establishing five electronic One Stop Shops for business registration and licensing in the Tourism Investment Areas. The project also aimed to enhance legal frameworks, streamline procedures, and automate administrative processes to improve efficiency. However, in order to enable other sectors besides tourism to benefit from improved business licensing and registration, this project has been transformed into the Mozambique Integrated Business Licensing project which is currently ongoing.

Integrated Business Licensing

ICF is working with the Government of Mozambique to develop a single electronic portal that will link trade one-stop-shops with decision-making bodies at provincial and ministerial levels across the country. The objective is to reduce the procedures, time and costs of business licensing in the retail, industry, tourism and small enterprise sectors. The portal, which focuses on license integration, will eventually serve as an Integrated Platform of Services for citizens.

Rwanda »

Business Life Cycle

ICF is working with the Government of Rwanda on a project that builds on gains achieved in a previously ICF-funded Rwanda Investment Climate Project which had helped to set up an online business registration system by including mortgage registration and by establishing the practice of insolvency resolution in Rwanda. This is expected to address challenges that businesses face during their business lifecycle.

The project will reduce the time it takes to register a business from 2 days to 6 hours and reduce the number of procedures from 2 to 1. It will also increase the use of online business registration service and introduce online registration of intellectual property.

Rwanda Investment Climate Project

ICF worked with the Government of Rwanda to strengthen and speed up the pace of investment climate reforms in Rwanda and reduce the cost and risk of doing business in country. This was done by addressing constraints in the areas of commercial disputes resolution, business registration and land registration.

Commercial dispute resolution: the project established four commercial courts and as a result, the time it took to resolve a commercial dispute went down from 5 years to 120 days; the pre-2007 backlog of over 3,333 commercial cases was cleared; and over US$ 20m has been freed up due to the quick resolution of commercial disputes.

Business Registration: the project established the Office of the Registrar General as well as an online business registration system. As a result, the time it took to register a business went down from 16 days to 2 days, there were only 2 procedures for registration, and the fee reduced from $433 to $25 (free online). Over 10,000 businesses were registered between June 2010 and September 2012.

Land registration: Computerisation of the land registry through the newly established Land Information Administration System has improved titling and boosted mortgage registration.

Modernization of the Office of the Administrator and Registrar General

ICF worked with the Government of Sierra Leone to streamline procedures, automate administrative processes and digitise documents, in order to reduce time and costs for filing and retrieving commercial documents from the Office of the Administrator and Registrar General (OARG).

As a result of the project, the OARG procedures have been streamlined, 3 regional centres have been established, and records from 1985 onwards have been digitised. The OARG has been connected to the Ministry of Land’s spatial database and the Fast Track Commercial Court (both of which were ICF supported projects) to provide access to key information needed for business and land registrations. The time it takes to register a business and process a land transaction have been reduced dramatically, as both processes now take one day each.

Investment Window Project

ICF is working with the Government of Tanzania to increase investments in the country by expanding, consolidating and promoting the Tanzania Investment Window, and strengthening the capacity of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) to facilitate and monitor investments. The objective is to simplify procedures and make investment services more accessible, efficient and effective.

The project will simplify processes and put the remaining One-Stop-Shop permit issuing procedures online. These procedures are: Certificate of incentives, tax exemptions, work permits and derivative rights to land. The project will also develop an aftercare component in the Investment Window to enhance TIC's services to investments. The physical One-Stop-Shop, which is housed at TIC’s premises and has representatives from key permit issuing authorities, will also be modernized so it can provide better services to investors.

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