Uganda ranks 12th in ease of doing business  

Traders and clients crowd Kikuubo downtown business hub in Kampala on July 15, 2020. PHOTO/ FILE

The World Bank has ranked Uganda 12th in ease of doing business in Africa with the country’s average cost of starting and running a small to medium sized enterprise valued at $163 (Shs600,000). 

The World Bank also indicated that time to start a business, which is a key variable in ease of doing business, varies between a day and several months. 
The ranking based on the Doing Business report, captures several dimensions, key among them the regulatory environment, construction permits, accessing electricity and credit, registering property,  protecting minority investors, paying taxes and trading across borders, among others. 
It also measures the number of procedures, time, cost and paid-in minimum capital requirement. 
The report shows that whereas Uganda has made it easier, it has some difficulties.  
For instance, Uganda has made starting a business easier by introducing an online system for obtaining a trading license and by reducing business incorporation fees but has made it difficult by increasing licensing fees. 
The government also introduced changes that added time to the process of obtaining a business license, slowing business start-up.

The country has also made transferring property more difficult by introducing a requirement for property purchasers to obtain an income tax certificate before registration, resulting in delays at the Uganda Revenue Authority and Ministry of Finance.

However, Uganda has made it easier by digitizing records at the title registry, increasing efficiency at the assessor’s office and making it possible for more banks to accept the stamp duty payment as well as eased tax payment through eliminating a requirement for tax returns to be submitted in paper copy.  
Uganda is credited for reducing time needed to export and import by implementing the Single Customs Territory and developing the Uganda Electronic Single Window and the Centralized Document Processing Centre.
Uganda’s ranking in terms of price and affordability with other East African countries shows Rwanda doesn’t charge to start a business for only two years, while one needs $353 (Shs 1.3m) to start and run business in Kenya. 
Tanzania’s cost of starting a business is valued at $322 (Shs1.14m). 
(Shs 106,000). The most expensive country for starting a business in Africa is Equatorial Guinea, costing a whooping $ 2,321 (Shs 8.2m)