With the opening of the new Afghanistan Central Business Registry set up by Afghan Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI), with the assistance of USAID, business registration is now a one-stop process for all businesses wishing to register in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Business Registration in Afghanistan used to involve visiting up to five separate government offices – the Commercial Courts, the TIN office, the Central Bank branch, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Finance – and take 6-8 days to complete. The old process, with its myriad steps and varying fee structures, allowed many opportunities for confusion and corruption.
However, the new Afghanistan Central Business Registry cuts the bureaucratic red tape – business owners can fill out one simple form to register, obtain a tax identification number, and publish business specifications in the Official Gazette. Businesses will receive one bill, with a low, flat fee for all three services and can pay that bill at the Central Bank branch located on the same premises at the MoCI office. The simplified process is particularly helpful for small and medium businesses that were previously unable to afford or take time to navigate the previously complex business registration process.
The new computerized registry also helps to bring Afghan registration practices up to international standards and allow for improved data collection and reporting on businesses in Afghanistan. Over 1,000 businesses have registered in the two months since opening day.
The Afghanistan Central Business Registry was designed, refurbished and equipped by the USAID Economic Governance & Private Sector Strengthening project. USAID supports the Government of Afghanistan in supporting and strengthening the private sector.
The registrar at the commercial courts was only one of up to five offices that Afghan businesspeople needed to visit in order to register a business. Processing involved hand-written paper documentation at every step of the way. It used to take several days to register a business.
Afghans only need to make one stop at the new Afghan Central Business Registry to register a business in less than two hours. The simpler, computerized process makes life easier for Afghan businesspeople.