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The objective of the project was to reform and streamline the approach and process to register a business in Lao PDR based on international practices and considering the Doing Business study by the World Bank. As early as 2017, Lao PDR authorities used business registration as a tool to oversee and control businesses before even starting operations. For business registration, Lao PDR authorities required businesses to follow burdensome, time-consuming and unnecessary steps and requirements and assessed their adequacy to undergo into business activities.

The consultant team worked with the Department of Enterprise Registration and Management (DERM), the authority in charge of the businesses register, to revolutionize business registration process, making it a public service for effective rule of law business transactions and move from an ex-ante approach to oversee business to an ex-post approach.

A core driver for the work was the design, legal transposition, capacity building and concrete implementation by national and local governments of actions to significantly improve the score obtained in the Doing Business study by the World Bank in the “Starting a Business” indicator.

As part of this effort, JC&A accelerated the policy “one business, one number” within the registration process closely involving the Tax authority, the Ministry of Public security, and social security administration.

Finally, JC&A developed the functional requirement specifications for the creation of an online business registration to be mainstreamed soon. This task encompassed the assessment of the abilities of the Lao PDR authorities to mode from a paper based and on-site business registration, to a digital and online process.

World Bank, 2019-2021.