Business Reforms in Rwanda
= Doing Business reform making it easier to do business. = Change making it more difficult to do business.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda increased quality control during construction by introducing risk-based inspections.
Registering Property: Rwanda made registering property easier by implementing online services to facilitate the registration of property transfers.
Protecting Minority Investors: Rwanda strengthened minority investor protections by making it easier to sue directors, clarifying ownership and control structures and requiring greater corporate transparency.
Paying Taxes: Rwanda made paying taxes easier by establishing an online system for filing and paying taxes.
Enforcing Contracts: Rwanda made enforcing contracts easier by making judgements rendered at all levels in commercial cases available to the general public through publication on the judiciary’s website.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business easier by improving the online registration one-stop shop and streamlining post-registration procedures.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits more cumbersome and expensive by introducing new requirements to obtain a building permit. It also strengthen the quality control index by implementing the qualifications required for architects and engineers.
Registering Property: Rwanda made it easier to register property by introducing effective time limits and increasing the transparency of the land administration system.
Paying Taxes: Rwanda made paying taxes more complicated by introducing a requirement that companies file and pay social security contributions monthly instead of quarterly.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda made trading across borders easier by removing the mandatory pre-shipment inspection for imported products.
Enforcing Contracts: Rwanda made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic case management system for judges and lawyers.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business easier by eliminating the need for new companies to open a bank account in order to register for VAT.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier by adopting a new building code and new urban planning regulations.
Getting Credit: In Rwanda the credit bureau started to provide credit scores to banks and other financial institutions while the credit registry expanded borrower coverage, strengthening the credit reporting system.
Protecting Minority Investors: Rwanda strengthened minority investor protections by introducing provisions allowing holders of 10% of a company’s shares to call for an extraordinary meeting of shareholders, requiring holders of special classes of shares to vote on decisions affecting their shares, requiring board members to disclose information about their directorships and primary employment and requiring that audit reports for listed companies be published in a newspaper.
Paying Taxes: Rwanda made paying taxes easier for companies by introducing electronic filing and making its use compulsory.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda increased the time and cost for documentary and border compliance for importing by making preshipment inspection mandatory for all imported products.
Resolving Insolvency: Rwanda improved its insolvency system by introducing provisions on voidable transactions and the approval of reorganization plans and by establishing additional safeguards for creditors in reorganization proceedings.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business more difficult by requiring companies to buy an electronic billing machine from a certified supplier.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier by eliminating the fee for obtaining a freehold title and by streamlining the process for obtaining an occupancy permit.
Getting Electricity: In Rwanda the electricity company made getting electricity less costly by eliminating several fees.
Getting Credit: Rwanda improved access to credit by establishing clear priority rules outside bankruptcy for secured creditors and establishing clear grounds for relief from a stay of enforcement actions by secured creditors during reorganization procedures.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business easier by reducing the time required to obtain a registration certificate.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier and less costly by reducing the building permit fees, implementing an electronic platform for building permit applications and streamlining procedures.
Registering Property: Rwanda made transferring property easier by eliminating the requirement to obtain a tax clearance certificate and by implementing the web-based Land Administration Information System for processing land transactions.
Getting Credit: Rwanda strengthened its secured transactions system by providing more flexibility on the types of debts and obligations that can be secured through a collateral agreement.
Protecting Minority Investors: Rwanda strengthened investor protections through a new law allowing plaintiffs to cross-examine defendants and witnesses with prior approval of the questions by the court.
Paying Taxes: Rwanda made paying taxes easier and less costly for companies by rolling out its electronic filing system to the majority of businesses and by reducing the property tax rate and business trading license fee.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda made trading across borders easier by introducing an electronic single-window system at the border.
Resolving Insolvency: Rwanda made resolving insolvency easier through a new law clarifying the standards for beginning insolvency proceedings; preventing the separation of the debtor’s assets during reorganization proceedings; setting clear time limits for the submission of a reorganization plan; and implementing an automatic stay of creditors’ enforcement actions.
Getting Electricity: Rwanda made getting electricity easier by reducing the cost of obtaining a new connection.
Enforcing Contracts: Rwanda made enforcing contracts easier by implementing an electronic filing system for initial complaints.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business easier by reducing the business registration fees.
Registering Property: Rwanda made transferring property more expensive by enforcing the checking of the capital gains tax.
Getting Credit: In Rwanda the private credit bureau started to collect and distribute information from utility companies and also started to distribute more than 2 years of historical information, improving the credit information system.
Paying Taxes: Rwanda reduced the frequency of value added tax filings by companies from monthly to quarterly.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier by passing new building regulations at the end of April 2010 and implementing new time limits for the issuance of various permits.
Getting Credit: Rwanda enhanced access to credit by allowing borrowers the right to inspect their own credit report and mandating that loans of all sizes be reported to the central bank’s public credit registry.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda reduced the number of trade documents required and enhanced its joint border management procedures with Uganda and other neighbors, leading to an improvement in the trade logistics environment.
Starting a Business: Rwanda made starting a business easier by eliminating the notarization requirement; introducing standardized memoranda of association; putting publication online; consolidating name-checking, registration fee payment, tax registration and company registration procedures; and reducing the time required to process completed applications.
Registering Property: Rwanda reduced the time required to transfer property through ongoing improvements in the property registration process.
Getting Credit: Rwanda strengthened its secured transactions system by allowing a wider range of assets to be used as collateral, permitting a general description of debts and obligations in the security agreement, allowing out-of-court enforcement of collateral, granting secured creditors absolute priority within bankruptcy and creating a new collateral registry.
Protecting Minority Investors: Rwanda strengthened investor protections through a new company law requiring greater corporate disclosure, increasing director liability and improving shareholders’ access to information.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda reduced the time required for trading across borders by introducing administrative changes such as expanded operating hours and enhanced border cooperation and by eliminating some documentation requirements.
Resolving Insolvency: Rwanda improved its insolvency process through a new law aimed at streamlining reorganization procedures.
Labor Market Regulation: Rwanda increased the maximum duration of fixed-term contracts and eliminated the obligation to notify and seek the approval of a third party in cases of redundancy dismissals.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier by streamlining project clearances for the second year in a row—combining the procedures for obtaining a location clearance and a building permit in a single application form—and by introducing a single application form for water, sewerage and electricity connections.
Registering Property: Rwanda reduced the cost and time to register property by replacing the 6% registration fee with a flat rate, regardless of the property value, and by creating a centralized service in the tax authority to speed up the issuance of the certificate of good standing.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda reduced the time for exporting and importing by extending the opening hours of customs points, implementing or improving electronic data interchange and risk-based inspection systems and making improvements in the transport sector.
Enforcing Contracts: Rwanda made enforcing contracts easier by launching 3 commercial courts—in Kigali, in Northern Province and in Southern Province.
Dealing with Construction Permits: Rwanda made dealing with construction permits easier by decentralizing the permit system—which reduced the time for getting a building permit and an occupancy permit—and by reducing the time for obtaining an electricity connection.
Trading across Borders: Rwanda made trading across borders easier by expediting the acceptance of customs declarations and liberalizing the warehouse services market.