Taarifa Rwanda

With New Reforms, Starting A Business In Rwanda Is Made Easy


A single cab ride in Kigali city can go up to Rwf 9,000 (US$10). This is enough to pay for a monthly internet subscription for at least 1GB per day.

The more the rides, the deeper one would  have to dig into the wallet to run errands around town.

This, be it for a small business or large, is a valuable investment.

Anyone would welcome the opportunity to circumvent this burden or of how to save the money.

In the recent Doing Business Reforms, Rwanda relaxed even further the logistics involved in starting a business.

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has implemented a series of reforms among them include those affecting starting and running a business.

According to the Registrar General at RDB, Richard Kayibanda, there has been a good number of reforms.

“They are meant to ease doing business, but also to ensure a business gets all the requirements in the shortest time possible and by going to a lesser number of institutions,” he says.

With the new reforms, when starting a business, one is automatically registering with the tax administration and avoiding the burden of an extra process of registering with the taxman.

Today, for example, anyone can access an Electronic Billing Machine (EBM) version 2 (software) on the RDB Business Registration website.

The new reform has integrated the tax administration with business registration, cutting off the task and the cost associated with registering with both institutions.

Kayibanda adds that very soon even registering with the Social Security Board for employees will be done at the same time while registering a business.

All these processes will be housed at the One Stop Center, with intention of lessening procedures of registering and starting a business, including sole proprietorship, a company or a foreign subsidiary.

Dating back in 2010, registering a company would take at least three days of waiting, moving around to different institutions, costing money and time, but later in 2015, RDB made starting a business easier by launching free online registration.

Applicants simply log on to www.rdb.rw then complete the a business registration process.

The process has eliminated physical contact with a government official, eliminated potential corruption, eliminated unnecessary red tape and subsequently encouraged businesses, particularly SMEs, to flourish.

According to the 2019 World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, Rwanda, considered a low-income economy, ranked 29th easiest place to do business, globally, though in the index of starting a business, Rwanda is ranked 51st.

The World Bank report captures how the country has made starting a business less costly by replacing electronic billing machines with free software for tax invoices.

Now, even the software can be accessed without going to the taxman.

Rwanda is among 10 global economies that have shown the most notable improvement in performance on the Doing Business indicators in 2017/18.

Other countries in this bracket include; Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey.

Rwanda is currently implementing more reforms to ease doing business.

Several small and medium businesses are expected to crop up as a result.

On average, around the world, registering a business now takes 20 days and costs 23% of income per capita, compared to 47 days and 76% of income per capita in 2006.

Rwanda wants to be among the top, and is informed by the fact that each eliminated procedure saves time and money.

“There is room for improvement…we normally benchmark to be the best in the world…” Kayibanda says.

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