Simplifying start-up business procedures, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
By reducing the time, procedural steps and financial costs required to start a business, the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia aims to make entry to the formal sector easier. A ‘one-stop shop’ system was initiated and implemented, including an online application system for registering companies, an electronic system for the classification of companies under court procedures for insolvency, and an electronic system for the registration of collateral and leasing.
The regulatory environment in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has undergone great change. Due to a willingness to increase transparency and accountability of the government by providing infrastructure and modern e-services to citizens and businesses there has been a turn towards computerisation of government services. This has been done in order to increase efficiency of administration through decreasing bureaucracy and costs.
As well as simplifying and reducing administrative barriers, the objective of this initiative was also to take a step towards computerisation as a way of easing access and improving communication between the government and its citizens.
Initially, a law on business registration was adopted reducing the time, procedural steps and financial costs required to start a business. A ‘one-stop shop’ system was initiated and implemented in two phases, the second of which consisted of three components: an online application for the registration of companies (www.crm.org.mk); an electronic system for the classification and listing of companies under the court procedures for insolvency; and an electronic system for the registration of collateral and leasing (BTI, 2012). Alongside this the computerisation of the system for registration of employees and unemployed persons occurred.
The Pension and Disability Fund of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is responsible for the social contributions online service. Through this, the provider can fully declare the social contributions for employees online (http://www.piom.com.mk/). Another aspect of the ‘e-Gov Project’ in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the implementation of paperless taxes (http://etax.ujp.gov.mk/) to speed up the process, provided by the Central Taxation Agency.
Lessons and conclusions
Achievement of objectives
A good indication that the government of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has achieved the objective of simplifying its procedures and bureaucratic measures is that the country is now ranked sixth out of 183 countries in terms of how easy it is to start a business.
Given the high global position of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia with regard to the ease of starting a business, this initiative might well be seen as a best practice policy measure for other countries to follow.
Tanja Markovska, AOTR, USAID Macedonia e-Gov Project
Elena Stamatoska, Chief of Party at USAID Macedonia e-Gov Project
Vanja Mirkovski, Information Officer at USAID Macedonia e-Gov Project
BTI (2012), Macedonia country report, available at http://www.btiproject.org/countryreports/ese/mkd/