The Case for Business Registration Reform in Latin America

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Jul 2001
This paper proposes a conceptual framework for understanding and analyzing how business regulations affect small and microenterprises. In doing so, it also makes a case for why particular attention should be paid to the process of initial registration of businesses and why this is a promising area for improvement and reform. To show what has been done and what can be done in this area, the paper explores the experiences of various countries around the world that have made efforts to streamline this often lengthy and complicated process. Drawing from these experiences, the paper outlines a number of concrete guidelines for how to go about such an undertaking. Finally, the paper brings the topic down to the operational level by describing a recently approved IDB project in Costa Rica. The effort will create a self-sustainable one-stop-shop for business registration by involving the private sector and employing widely available technology in a new way.