Starting a Business in Mozambique? Here’s How

Legal framework guide covers
Legal Framework Guide covers
New guides help entrepreneurs navigate the business registration process
“USAID helped us take our members’ business concerns to the government.”

August 2015—Local and international entrepreneurship in Mozambique is currently stifled by confusing legal procedures, inconsistent bureaucracy, and corruption. The entire business registration process takes an average of more than six months. But a series of “how-to” guides for registering and running a business is now available to help entrepreneurs navigate the process.

The Legal Framework Guides include easy-to-understand flow diagrams, form templates and standard letters. The guides were created last year by USAID, through its Support Program for Economic and Enterprise Development (SPEED), and by the Commercial, Industrial and Services Association of Mozambique (ACIS).

Mozambique’s gross domestic product is growing at an average rate of 7 percent because of large-scale investments in gas and coal. However, small entrepreneurs struggle to register their businesses and take part in the economic boom. Many of them become discouraged, bewildered and frustrated by the process.

ACIS was founded in 2000 by a group of companies that wanted to make it easier to do business in Mozambique. Since then, the association has grown to represent over 350 companies, ranging from local startups to major multinationals. They now offer the Legal Framework Guides in Portuguese and English for free online.

Ninety percent of ACIS members surveyed said that they used the guides on a regular basis and that they were an important tool for their companies.

USAID financed legal support to develop the guides and, working with ACIS, presented draft content to government departments for clarification.

“USAID helped us take our members’ business concerns to the government,” said ACIS Executive Director Denise Cortes-Keyser.

As a result of the Legal Framework Guides, business procedures have become standardized and easier to understand. Recognizing the importance of clear procedures, the Ministries of Labor, Finance, Environment and Agriculture have begun using the guides as training texts for their staff. Investors are thrilled to have these easy-to-use books because they help them reduce the cost of doing business by providing ongoing up-to-date guidance and support.

The SPEED program, which ran from August 2010 to February 2015, aimed to improve the business environment in Mozambique by having more companies doing more business, resulting in increased trade and investment and a stronger competitive position.


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