UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Key Principles of a Business Registry

image of UNCITRAL Legislative Guide on Key Principles of a Business Registry

This legislative guide is prepared by UNCITRAL to promote an enabling legal environment for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). The guide is based on the premise that it is in the interests of States and of MSMEs that such businesses operate in the formal economy. This guide also reflects the idea that entrepreneurs that have not yet commenced a business may be persuaded to do so in the formal economy if the requirements for formally starting their business are not considered overly burdensome, and if the advantages for doing so outweigh their interest in operating in the informal economy. The guide includes best practices from various parts of the world and 58 recommendations aiming at assisting States in streamlining their business registration procedures.



Registration of a business

The method through which a business is registered varies from State to State, ranging from those that tend to regulate less and rely on the law that governs business behaviour, to States that opt for ex ante screening of a business before it may be registered (see also para. 54 above). In this regard, a State aiming at reforming its business registry must frst decide which approach it will take to determine the scope of the examination that will have to be carried out by the registry. The State may thus choose to have a system where the registry only records information submitted to it by the registrant or a system where the registry is required to perform legal verifcations and decide whether the business meets the criteria to register.


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