URBS moves to automate business licensing (Daily Monitor (Uganda))

Kampala. As Uganda’s business rankings globally continue to drop, Uganda Registration Service Bureau (URSB) has moved in to automate business registration process and ease the conditions for investors.
The automation process will involve creation of an e-licensing portal, a one stop centre that will include services from application for business licences, registration, provision of necessary data, and acquisition of licences just at a click of a computer mouse.
Speaking yesterday at a meeting on electronic licensing in Kampala, the registrar general URBS, Mr Bemanya Twebaze, said currently the system is overwhelmed and very bureaucratic with ministries, departments and Agencies all doing the same activity (issuing licences) yet in a very long time.
“The e-licensing portal is already in place, though more of informational,” Mr Bemanya said.
He added: “But what we are trying to do is making it more transactional so that one cannot only access information but also complete registering a business without necessarily having to move from place to place.”
The one stop centre will mean bringing business services provided by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), among others under one roof.
“We are not trying to take over anyone’s mandate but rather streamline procedures and bring down the costs of doing business,” he added. URSB reasons that the online portal will improve the country’s competitiveness in the global business rankings.

Poor ranking
Currently, in East Africa, Uganda performs worst in the starting a business category. It takes seven days to start a business in Rwanda five in Burundi 30 in Kenya and 26 in Tanzania compared with Uganda’s 32 days.