Eastern Europe and Central Asia saw reform in 10 economies. Six reduced the running-around time for entrepreneurs by creating one-stop shops. Albania took registration out of the courts and merged company, social security, labor and tax registrations. Before, entrepreneurs had to wait more than a month to start doing business; now it's just 8 days. Azerbaijan's one-stop shop reduced delays by 2 weeks, Slovenia's by 6. Bulgaria, the Kyrgyz Republic and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia undertook reforms similar to Azerbaijan's. And while Czech entrepreneurs still have to obtain multiple documents, the new "Project Czech Point" allows them to do so at one place.Lebanon and Oman improved the efficiency of their one-stop shops. What used to take 46 days in Lebanon now takes 11. Tunisia, having already reduced its minimum capital requirement, abolished it altogether. Jordan reduced its minimum capital requirement by more than 96%. Following on the previous year's reforms, Egypt further reduced registration costs and paid-in minimum capital. Saudi Arabia continued to simplify commercial registration formalities and reduced fees by 80%. Computerization of the registry in West Bank and Gaza reduced the time to register.Among OECD high-income economies there were 6 reformers. Canada and New Zealand made it possible to start a business with a single procedure. Entrepreneurs in Toronto, Canada, can incorporate their company online and automatically receive a business number within 5 days. Those in New Zealand can now register for taxes while incorporating their company online. Greece and Hungary reduced minimum capital requirements by about 80%. Hungary also introduced online filing and publication and made the use of notaries optional. Italy reformed its electronic registration system, enabling businesses to complete all procedures at once. Slovakia's one-stop shop merged 4 procedures into 1 and reduced costs. Entrepreneurs in Switzerland were less fortunate: they now must deposit twice as much capital in the bank (nearly $20,000) before registering a company.Sixty-nine economies allow entrepreneurs to start a company without putting up a fixed amount of capital before registration. They allow entrepreneurs to determine what is appropriate for the business based on its type and capital structure. Twenty-two economies have reduced or abolished their minimum capital requirement in the past 5 years, including Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Hungary, Japan, Jordan, Uruguay and Yemen. This group has seen some of the biggest spikes in new company registrations. After Madagascar reduced its minimum capital requirement by more than 80% in 2006, the rate of new registrations jumped from 13% to 26%. After Tunisia reduced its requirement, new registrations increased by 30% between 2002 and 2006.7 That encouraged the country to abolish it altogether in 2007/08.
Starting a Business
Julian started out working for her brothers. But she was saving to start her own business. She began trading, traveling from Uganda to neighboring Kenya to buy goods for resale. "I would take the overnight bus and stand up the whole way to get the 50% discount," she recalls. "My aim was to start a juice processing business, a real factory?Once she had saved enough money, Julian began production. Unable to afford transport, she had to take her products by foot to the government chemist for testing. "My only means of transport was my wheelbarrow, and I was the whole company."Julian also remembers how arduous it was to register her business. "There was so much to do and so many different places I had to go- for business registration and taxpayer identification numbers, different licenses...
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