The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) has undertaken major reforms which analysts hope will go a long way in significantly easing the costs of doing business in the country.
According to information from URSB, the much awaited changes include the adoption of a one paged lean memorandum and articles of association, reduction in the number of required stamps for company registration from a mammoth 20 to a bitty 4.
Also as part of these arrangements, clients shall be able to keep track of the registration process through an SMS notification mechanism and instant printing of certificate off the electronic database management system (EDMS).
Speaking at the launch of lean memorandum / articles of association and SMS notification platform at Georgina house in Kampala on Friday, URSB Registrar General Bemanya Twebaze, said the new additions are not only geared at simplifying registration services but also will promote the country’s economic competitiveness on the global arena.
“This is a transformational initiative because it addresses what I think is one of the key challenges most institutions in Uganda face today. That is, the gaps in delivering timely, faster and easier services to enable our customers save on process man hours,” explained Bemanya.
Also differing from the past, the time-frame for registering businesses and companies has been lessened to thirty minutes and two hours respectively according, to Freda Nayebare, the URSB Management and Planning Expert.
Nayebare said registration of businesses will only take thirty minutes whereas that of companies shall last for two hours.
This development comes in the wake of an indicting 2019 World Bank report which ranked Uganda at position 127 out of 190 in the ease of doing business.
Reasons for decline in ranking included getting electricity – this is attributable to the increased procedure, time and cost; difficulties in obtaining construction permits to procedure to start a business is relatively lengthy compared to other countries; trading across borders is challenging especially with regards to the cost of importation.
Doing Business 2019 covers 11 areas of business regulation. Ten of these areas – starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency – are included in the ease of doing business score and ease of doing business ranking.
Doing Business also measures features of labor market regulation, which is not included in these two measures. It provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level.
The Monetary Policy Statement for December 2018 shows the economy is projected to grow by 6.5% in the Financial Year 2018/2019, an indication of a brighter economic outlook for business.