World Bank gives Shs9 billion for one-stop centre

Forms for business registration on the Uganda Registration Services Bureau website. The one-stop centre is set to reduce turnaround times. FILE PHOTO

Kampala-To kick-start the establishment of one-stop centre in Uganda, the World Bank Group has provided a loan of $3 million (about Shs9 billion) for the construction of the structure.
Currently, investors move from one place to another to get all the documents they need before their enterprises are established, which is associated with delays and frustrations.

The one- top centre, which will be built in Kololo in Kampala, will house Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and a department of National Environmental Authority (Nema) to work in an integrated manner to provide the business community/investors with the necessary documents they need to establish a business in Uganda.

Speaking at a news conference in Kampala at the end of the World Bank conference on doing business initiative on Wednesday, the registrar general of Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Mr Bemanya Twebaze, said: “The World Bank has provided $3 million to URSB to construct a one-stop shop (centre) because we don’t have a home. This one-stop shop will house URSB, URA UIA and Nema.”

Government’s input
Government is also expected to contribute $10 million (Shs30b) towards the project which will take off next year while Capital Markets Authority will give another $700,000 (Shs2.1 b).

Mr Twebaze said the one-stop shop will function in an integrated manner for registration services for company incorporation, which deals with tax registration and trading licence, and it falls under Tax Payer Registration Expansion Project (TREP).
Rwanda already has a one-stop shop called Rwanda Development Board, where investors get trade documents under one roof.

Explaining the benefits of the TERP, Mr Twebaze said this will increase formalisation of businesses, make rerenewal of licences permits and other registration requirements efficient and simplify registration for Small and Medium-Sized enterprises.

“The other benefits are: It gives an opportunity to sensitise the public about tax obligations, business registration and licensing, increased tax revenue and sharing of data and information on various tax payers helps in planning purposes,” he said.

Process of registering a business

Currently, investors/business community have got to have their businesses registered at a cost ranging from Shs20,000 to Shs300,000 at URSB depending on the type of business one is establishing which takes two to three days.

A trade licence from KCCA, TIN number (tax registration) at URA takes one day, environmental impact assessment study certificate from Nema, which ranges from days to months before getting all these documents. This increases the cost of doing business in Uganda.


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