The Cost of Corruption and Over Regulation in the Business Registration Regime in Ghana: A Case for Streamlining the Business Registration, Licensing, Permit and Certification Regime in Ghana

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By CLARA K. BEERI KASSER-TEE ESQ[1]

Introduction

Like many other jurisdictions, Ghana has its own rules and regulations governing the registration, permit, licensing and certification of businesses in Ghana. A research conducted by the Private Enterprise Federation, (“PEF”), and sponsored by the USAID in 2009 to identify all licensing, permits and certification requirements affecting businesses in Ghana showed that, about a total of one hundred and forty-five, (145) or more business licenses, permits and certification requirements were in force in Ghana and affected businesses in varying degrees, (PEF 2017).[2] These 145 licenses, permits and certificates included licenses, permits and certificates applicable to both Regulated and Unregulated sectors. A second research study carried out in 2010-2012 by the PEF with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund to identify the cross sectoral licensing requirements in Ghana, identified seven (7) cross sectoral licensing requirements in Ghana[3]. A further research conducted by PEF and the author in 2019/2020 with the assistance of Star Ghana, UKAID, DANIDA and the European Union under the strategic partnership to prevent and fight administrative corruption in Ghana, (the “SPPFACG Project”) found that  legislative, regulatory and policy changes since 2013 means that rather than seven (7) cross-sectoral licenses, a business requires thirteen (13) cross-sectoral licenses, permits/certificates to operate in Ghana, particularly where such business has foreign participation in the ownership or workforce of the business. Compared to countries like New Zealand, Singapore and Georgia, this makes the Ghana business registration, permit, licensing and certification regime “over regulated”, as borne out by Ghana’s deterioration in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2020,[4] bringing with it, the ills of over regulation such as administrative corruption evidenced in the PEF Research Findings[5], and exclusion from the formal business economy[6]

This paper examines the thirteen, (13) cross-sectoral licenses, permits and certificates identified in the above-mentioned Research Findings, (as required to enable one operate a business in Ghana), and the barriers associated with obtaining these permits, licenses and certificates to do business in Ghana. The author posits that as compared to other jurisdictions, (New Zealand and Georgia), 13 permits, licenses and certificates required to do business in Ghana are not only too numerous, thus resulting in inefficient regulation, same have been proven to be the cause of administrative corruption as the private sector is compelled to pay bribes to some staff of the administering agencies to avoid the delays associated with obtaining the required licenses, permits and certificates.  This has increased the costs of doing business in Ghana as well as resulted in revenue loss for the country.[7] The author therefore makes a case for the abolition of up to 77% of the licenses/permits/certificates required for doing business in Ghana. She also makes a call for the streamlining of the legal processes and procedures for obtaining the required licenses/permits and certificates for doing business in Ghana to eliminate the unnecessary delays in obtaining these licenses/permits and certificates, among other recommendations.

Structure

This paper is in four parts. The first part deals with the legal and regulatory framework for doing business in Ghana. It also analyses the thirteen cross-sectoral licenses/permits/certificates required for doing business in Ghana, and, discusses the research findings on the delays and costs of obtaining these licenses, permits and certificates. The second part discusses reforms in the business registration, licensing, permit and certification regime in Georgia, New Zealand and Singapore, and compares these to Ghana for lessons learnt. The third and final part makes the case for: (a) abolishing up to 77% of the licenses, permits, and certificates for doing business in Ghana; (b) streamlining the business licensing, permit and certification regime in Ghana; (c) adaptation of the one-stop-shop and no-shop principles for public administration in Ghana; and (d) automation of public services in addition to other recommendations.

Legal and Regulatory Framework for Doing Business in Ghana and Analyses of the Thirteen Cross-Sectoral Licenses/Permits/Certificates for Doing Business in Ghana

 Background to Investment in Ghana

Ghana has a constitutional government under a multi-party democracy. She operates a common law legal system (court decisions are largely based on precedent). In addition to her over two decades of stable democratic governance in the midst of a turbulent sub region, Ghana has established an extensive constitutional and statutory framework for the protection of investment. The Constitution of Ghana guarantees against expropriation, and permits it only under very stringent conditions, namely: public policy; subject to a law which makes provision for the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation; and a right of access to the High Court for redress. It may be considered a comfort that there have been no notable nationalisations in Ghana in recent times.[8]

Analysis of the thirteen (13) Cross-Sectoral licenses/permits/certificates

The thirteen (13) cross-sectoral permits/licenses and certificates identified by the PEF Research Reportunder theSPPFAG Projectas required to enable a business operate in Ghana, particularly, where there is foreign participation in the ownership or workforce of such business are as follows: 

  1. Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) Certificate. This Certificate is issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA), pursuant to the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915), (the “Revenue Administration Act”). A TIN Certificate is a prerequisite for all transactions, including registration of any form of business in Ghana.[9] The TIN certificate is therefore the first to obtain before one can register a business at the Office of the Registrar of Companies.
  • Business Registration and Commencement Certificates. This certificate is issued by the Office of the Registrar of Companies, upon registration/incorporation of the business. This certificate however does not entitle a business to start operations without obtaining further permits, licenses and certificates particularly from the local assembly in whose jurisdiction the business intends to operate.[10]
  • Business operating permit. The operating permit is an annual levy (fixed rates) imposed on businesses carried on within the jurisdiction of a local government area. It is issued by the various local assemblies in whose area of jurisdiction the business is to operate. It is issued under the authority of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, pursuant to the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936), (the “Local Government Act”) and relevant bye-laws passed in accordance with the Local Government Act[11]. A person/entity must not carry on any profession, occupation, trade or business in or upon any premises or land unless the local assembly in whose jurisdiction the business is to be conducted has issued a license in respect of such premises.
  • Certificate of registration with Ghana Investment Promotion Registration Certificate, (“GIPC Certificate”). A business must apply for and obtain a GIPC Registration Certificate where there is foreign participation in such business. This certificate is issued by the GIPC. The requirement to register with the GIPC applies to both Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian businesses. However, while registration with the GIPC is optional for wholly owned Ghanaian business, it is mandatory for all businesses that have foreign participation[12]. Therefore, whenever a non-Ghanaian company or individual invests and/or participates in the operation of any enterprise in Ghana such business must register with the GIPC upon incorporation and before commencement of operations[13]. The GIPC certificate is renewable every two (2) years.
  • Environmental permit, (“EPA Permit”). This permit is issued by the Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology, pursuant to the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994, (Act 490) (the “EPA Act”) and the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652). Every undertaking/development that may have an impact on the environment is required to be registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and an environmental permit has to be issued in respect of such undertaking. [14]
  • Environmental Certificate, (“EPA Certificate”). Similar to the EPA Permit, the EPA certificate is issued by the EPA under the supervision of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology. It is to be obtained within 24 months of commencement of business operations, and after one has already successfully obtained an EPA permit. [15]
  • Fire Certificate issued by the Ghana National Fire Service under the Ministry of Interior. The owner or occupier of a premises put to use as a place of work is required to obtain a fire certificate from the Chief Fire Officer[16]. A fire certificate is renewable annually.
  • Building/Construction Permit (renovation permit and demolition permit). This permit is issued by the local government body under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Environment Science and Technology respectively. A person/business must not undertake any physical development of land within a district unless that person has been issued with a permit by the District Assembly within the jurisdiction in which the land is situated. [17]
  • Factories, shops and offices certificate. This certificate is issued by the Department of Factories Inspectorate under the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, and pursuant to the Factories, Offices and Shops Act, 1970, Act 328 (the “Factories, Offices and Shops Act”). Every business that intends to occupy or use any premises as a factory must obtain the Factories, shops and offices registration certificate within one month before the occupation or use of the premises as a factory.[18]
  • GRA/VAT registration certificate. This certificate is issued by the Ghana Revenue Authority pursuant to the Ghana Revenue Authority Act, 2009, (Act 791), the Revenue Administration Act, 2016, (Act 915) and the Value Added Tax Act, 2013 (Act 870). It is the certificate required to enable a business honour its tax obligations. It is different from a TIN Certificate in the sense that a TIN Certificate simply provides a person/business with a tax identification number before registration of the business at the Office of the Registrar of Companies, while the GRA/VAT Certificate on the other hand is to be applied for after the business has already been registered at the Office of the Registrar of Companies.
  • Certificate/Letter of Registration with the Social Security & National Insurance Trust, (SSNIT), issued by SSNIT, pursuant to the National Pensions Act, 2008 (Act 766), (the “National Pensions Act”). Registration with SSNIT is required after the Company has employed any person(s) (i.e. employee(s)).Employees must go in person to the SSNIT office for their thumbprints to be taken for identification purposes. Upon registration with SSNIT, the company is given a registration number and once registration is complete, SSNIT sends a letter to the company to the effect that registration is complete.
  • Work permits. Work permits are required for all foreign nationals who will work for the business. This permit is issued by the Ghana Immigration Service, (GIS). No person is permitted to employ a foreign national in Ghana unless a work permit has been obtained for that foreign national.[19] GIS is the regulatory body responsible for the issuance of work permits.
Delays Associated with Obtaining the Thirteen (13) Cross Sectoral Permits/Licenses/Certificates

Although the law in certain circumstances stipulates the timelines within which the above discussed certificates, licenses and permits must be issued, research findings show that the agencies responsible for issuing these permits, licenses and certificates do not comply with the stipulated timelines, in the absence of payment of “facilitation fees”, (i.e. bribes) from clients/entrepreneurs. The Research showed that, whereas it takes between a few days to two weeks to complete the business registration, licensing, permit and certification process on payment of unofficial “facilitation fees”, (i.e. bribes), it could take up to five months or a year to complete the same process on failing to pay unofficial “facilitation fees” to staff of the Administering Agencies[20]. The research therefore revealed that except where staff of the Administrative agencies generally receive unofficial “facilitation fees” from customers, Administering Agencies do not deliver the listed services within the stipulated timelines (PEF 2020).[21]

Furthermore, businesses that took part in this research admitted to paying bribes to facilitate the acquisition of the required permits, licenses and certificates, although they know paying a bribe in Ghana is a criminal offence. They nonetheless paid the bribes because failure to pay such bribes would result in unnecessary delays in obtaining the required permits, licenses and certificates, which in turn would result in prohibitive costs to their businesses. This is because although payment of bribes increased their cost of doing business by between 327% and 3,278%, the cost of not paying the bribes exceeds the cost of paying the bribes by between 550% and 1,200%, (PEF 2020). Therefore, while paying a bribe was burdensome on business, not paying a bribe was punitive, (PEF 2020).[22]

This paper shall argue that thirteen (13) cross-sectoral permits/licenses and certificates required to enable a business operate legally in Ghana is not only burdensome on entrepreneurs, it also gives opportunity for corruption, is more or less punitive of businesses that refuse to pay a bribe, stifles honest business and drives entrepreneurs into the informal business sector thereby excluding them from the legal protection for their investments that the formal sector offers. The author shall also demonstrate, (through comparative analysis of business registration reforms in Georgia and the business registration regime in New Zealand), that it is possible to effectively regulate the business registration regime in Ghana with much fewer processes and effective automation of services in a manner that reduces corruption and is less burdensome on businesses.[23]

A Review of Business Registration Reforms in Georgia and Business Registration Regime in New Zealand for Lessons Learnt for Adaptation in Ghana

Georgia has consistently ranked among the world’s top 10 economies in the World Bank Group’s annual Doing Business report, which measures ease of doing business.  Georgia makes an interesting case study for the Ghanaian context because prior to its reforms embarked on between 2004 and 2006, Georgia was among the poorest countries in the world, and, ranked 100/155 in 2006 in the ease of doing business index[24]. Like Ghana, Georgia was once a high level corruption, but had found its niche as an attractive environment for private enterprise and foreign investment, and currently ranks Number 7 on the World Bank index of doing business 2020, (Shengelia 2017).[25]. After completion of reforms that increased transparency, reduced the administrative burden for private companies, provided opportunities for entrepreneurial activity among others, Georgia’s ease of doing business ratings improved tremendously to 9th position in 2013.[26] Georgia has generally been ranked among the world’s top 10 thereafter in the World Bank’s ease of doing business report. Although Georgia is still not a rich country, (it is an upper middle income country according to World Bank classification), it has found its niche as an attractive environment for private enterprise and foreign investment. [27]  Its successes in its fight against corruption is largely attributed to the reforms that it undertook, including a review of its rules and regulations from the point of view of the private sector. These efforts helped to significantly improve its business environment, for which reason it makes an interesting case study for Ghana.[28]

A key aspect of the business registration reforms that Georgia undertook was the abolishing of about 85% of all its pre-existing licenses and permits for doing business.[29] Georgia also implemented the one government principle, (i.e. the principle that a government agency cannot request from a citizen any documents, or additional any information which is the responsibility of another government agency);   ex post licensing, (licensing could happen in parallel to operations); Regulatory guillotine. (i.e. that all outdated regulation would be annulled in certain sectors, unless the relevant agencies could prove within a certain period that a particular piece of regulation was necessary to protect the health and safety of the population, and that the regulation was actually used in practice, and for purposes other than corruption), among others .[30] On completion of these reforms, administrative corruption significantly reduced, Georgia’s ranking in the ease of doing business index improved tremendously, (from number 100 to number 9), and, Georgia subsequently became an investment hub, (Zhghenti 2017). [31]

NewZealand on the other had has been consecutively ranked as number one in the Ease of Doing Business Index since 2016, making it the most business-friendly country in the world according to the World Bank’s doing business report.  New Zealand also holds the shortest time to start a business (0.5 days).[32] New Zealand also made starting a business easier by making it possible to complete the process in one simple online registration in less than a day, among others, (Gongeta 2018). [33]

Georgia and New Zealand both have the lowest number of procedures required (1) to start a business, and, set the best regulatory practice by World bank standards. The lessons thus learnt from Georgia and New Zealand show that it is possible to have fewer processes for doing business and at the same time have the best regulatory practice for the protection of businesses. Furthermore, research has proven that having fewer processes remove unnecessary delays as they can be done online and/or in a one stop shop manner, as well as disincentivise public agencies from unduly delaying applications.[34]

A Case for Streamlining the Business Registration, licensing, permit and certification Regime in Ghana

While simplified and supportive legislative framework, adapted to the requirements of entrepreneurs, is necessary for achievement of stable and predictable economic growth and job creation, burdensome regulation on the other hand has been found to limit entrepreneurs’ ability to freely operate a private business and make it prohibitively difficult for low income individuals to establish business in the formal sector, (Vujčić and Gongeta 2018). [35] For example, registration with the GRA/VAT requires that a business to deposit an amount of money towards payment of future taxes, (i.e. presumptive tax).[36] While this may not be burdensome on big enterprises who already have a budget for entry requirements, it is for small business and individuals with little start-up capital. Furthermore, aside official costs, bureaucratic delays ensure that businesses pay additional costs in compliances. For example, business must pay between 327% and 378 % of official costs to avoid bureaucratic delays in complying with the entry requirements, (i.e. where such business are willing to pay bribes to certain officials of the administering agencies to avoid delays), or incur additional costs of between 550% and 1,200%, (where they are unwilling to pay bribes to administering agencies) in Ghana.[37]

Burdensome regulations have thus been found to increase income inequality by either preventing access to higher paying professionals or impose costs on individuals choosing to enter illegally to provide unlicensed services.[38] As a result entrepreneurs resort to informal activity, away from the oversight of regulators and tax collectors, or seek opportunities abroad, or join the ranks of the unemployed[39].

This paper submits that the World Bank doing business index’s three measures of entry regulation, i.e., the number of procedures that firms must go through to register a business, (pre-registration, registration and post registration), the official time required to complete the process, official costs, as well as unofficial costs and cost of delays (from the PEF Research Report), all show that Ghana’s business registration regime is burdensome, as compared to countries that have business friendly regulation. It therefore comes as no surprise that while New Zealand and Georgia rank number 1 and 7 respectively on the world Bank’s ease of doing business index, Ghana ranks number 118 on the same index. The author thus calls for a streamlining of the business entry requirements, (i.e. the business registration processes).

To simplify and streamline business entry requirements, this paper suggests that the registration steps be reduced to a maximum of three (3), all to be done in a single step and be completed in a minimum of one (1) day and a maximum of two (days). The first step in streamlining the registration regime is to abolish up to 77% of the permits, licenses and certificates required to do business in Ghana, (i.e. reduce the cross-sectoral licenses from 13 to 3). The three permits/licenses/certificates would be (TIN, registration certificate and SSNIT). These permits/licenses/certificates can be issued in a day, and, all other permits can be issued post operations and through a hybrid of the one-stop- shop and no-stop shop models for business registration.

The one-stop model allows information to public service users to be provided under one roof, thus helping citizens to navigate the complexities of multiple providers.  This, coupled with digitization and the Ghana government’s electronic government project would help to reduce the costs of entry requirements, and avoid delays associated with the requirement on business to provide the same documentation issued by one state agency to other state agencies. For example, registering with the GIPC includes submitting a letter from the Bank of Ghana confirming that the business has transferred the statutory minimum capital requirement into its bank accounts in Ghana. Obtaining this letter from the Bank of Ghana requires the business to instruct its bankers to apply to the Bank of Ghana for a letter confirming that the business has paid the minimum capital into its accounts. How quickly a business is able to obtain this letter depends largely on how quickly its bankers can impress on the Bank of Ghana to issue the said letter to the bankers of the business. The bankers of this business then submit this letter to the business, which in turn then submits same to the GIPC together with the completed forms for such registration. This, in many cases, does not only force direct dealings between businesses and public officials, it also results in undue delays between the time of registration and payment of the minimum capital[40], and the issuance of the GIPC certificate. The author submits that in implementing a one government model, the GIPC ought to be able to confirm directly from the Bank of Ghana that the business has transferred the required capital into its accounts. With the ongoing egovernance reforms, Ghana should be able to implement a one government model so as to avoid unnecessary contact between public officials and businesses, thereby minimize the opportunity for extortion of bribe and also reduce the delays and the consequent burden of such delays on businesses.

Ghana has a significant number of people without access to the internet. For this reason, digitization must be complemented by physical platforms where offices are opened across the country in addition to online registration. At registration, the business receives a TIN, a registration certificate and a social security number. These three should qualify a business to commence operations in Ghana. Ghana could thus leverage lessons leant from the implementation of the one-stop shop model in countries like New Zealand, Georgia, Rwanda, Mauritius and Portugal, where registering a company takes only a few hours, and permits and documents can be obtained at the via a one-stop shop. [41] It is suggested that the GIPC may act as this one-stop-shop.

Although evidence of the impact of one-shop shops is still limited, not least because the concept has morphed over time, key improvements are listed as increased citizen satisfaction, reduced corruption, and greater efficiency. [42]

The pace of development has been such that the future suggests a move from one-stop shops to “no-stop shops, where the person/business does not have to perform any action or fill in any forms to receive government services.”[43] The “no-stop shops” step requires that government departments share the information they have about citizens, collect information about citizens without the citizens’ active involvement, and anticipate the needs of citizens. This paper submits that all government agencies must be able to share a common database such that no state agencies has to request for the certificates, permits and licenses issued by another state agency. The Registrar General’s Department must be able to link all other administering agencies to its database for purposes of confirming registration details of business entities and for sharing of information where necessary in the license, permit and certification process, rather than the current practice where business are required to resubmit all such details to other state agencies.[44] This paper submits that with the e governance project presents Ghana the opportunity to benefit from adopting a hybrid of the one-stop- shop and no-stop shop model for business registration.

Thirdly, this paper recommends the enactment of legislation, (an omnibus bill), that will require all government agencies to collaborate, share, and use a common database, and, to collaborate, co-operate and liaise with one another in the provision of services to the Ghanaian public and businesses.  All administering agencies under Ghana law generally exist pursuant to some enabling statute. As a result, each agency has a claim to autonomy and separate rights from other agencies, although some of their functions often overlap and in certain circumstances are duplicated. In the past, this has caused some turf wars that have hindered co-operation, thereby affecting businesses negatively, although there have sometimes also been inter-state- agency co-operations. This paper suggests that rather than leave co-operating to the discretion of the leaders of the various administering agencies, there should be legislation making co-operation between government agencies mandatory rather than optional. Such legislation must seek to achieve a one government principle where all government agencies can access and share data between themselves. This will eliminate significantly most of the delays encountered in complying with business entry requirements, and thereby minimize the opportunity for extortion of bribe and the consequent burden of such corruption on businesses.

Conclusion

Regulation comes with costs, and foreign investors avoid economies that use regulation to manipulate the private sector.[45] Furthermore, burdensome regulation excludes from the formal economy, individuals and businesses that have little capital to lose bribes or the consequences of failing to pay such bribes. It is therefore not surprising that Ghana has a largely informal economy.[46] The effect is that these individuals and businesses lose out from the protections that formality promises, including financial bail outs, and, the country also loses out from taxes that would be due from these businesses.[47] This paper submits that Ghana must streamline her business registration regime by reducing the cross-sectoral business registration licenses/permits/certificates from thirteen, (13) to three (3), enact an omnibus bill to compel state agencies to work together including conducting joint inspections where required, and, implement a hybrid of one-stop shop and no stop shop to make for a more private sector friendly business registration regime.


[1] Clara Beeri Kasser-Tee is a Corporate lawyer, Consultant and Lecturer at the University of Ghana School of Law. She is the Founder and Head of Chambers at Kasser Law Firm. Email: clara@kasserlawonline.com.

[2] PEF. May 2017. PEF Advocacy Action on Streamlining Cross Sectoral Licensing Requirements in Ghana RESEARCH, https://www.pef.org.gh/index.php/en/354-research-articles/91-report-on-cross-sectoral-licensing-requirement.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ghana ranked 118 out of 190 economies in the World Bank Group’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 rankings. New Zealand ranked No. 1 with 3 permits, license and certificates; Singapore ranked No. 2 with 2 permits, license and certificates; and Georgia ranked No. 7 with 3 permits, license and certificates for doing business.

[5] See PEF, Research Report Identifying and Detailing the Cost Implications the Gaps, Delays and Other Inefficiencies, (Feb. 2020), https://www.pef.org.gh/index.php/en/ 2015-11-04-19-46-07/pef-research-reports/item/download/31

[6] Over 80% of Ghana’s workforce work in the informal sector, (World Bank (2018). World Development Indicators https://databank.worldbank.org/reports.aspx?source=world-development-indicators). See also Rei, D., & Bhattacharya, M. (2008). The impact of institutions and policy on informal economy in developing countries: an econometric exploration. Geneva: ILO.

[7] PEF Research Report 2020, supra note 4.

[8] See article 20, the 1992 Constitution, section 31, of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013 (Act 865).

[9] Section 11(2) and Paragraph 2, the First Schedule the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915).

[10] See for instance section 24 of the GIPC Act which prohibits a company with foreign participation from commencing operations even after obtaining the incorporation certificate from the Office of the Registrar of Companies until after such company has registered with the GIPC, i.e. obtained a certificate of registration from the GIPC. See also section 181(1), the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) and section 1, the Adentan Municipal Assembly (Profession, Business and Trade) Bye-Laws, 2017.

[11] Section 181(1), the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) and section 1, the Adentan Municipal Assembly (Profession, Business and Trade) Bye-Laws, 2017.

[12] Sections 1, 24 and 25 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013, (Act 865).

[13] Sections 1, 24 and 25 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Act, 2013, (Act 865).

[14] See s. 12, the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1994 (Act 490) and Regulation 1, the the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652).

[15] See Regulation 22, the the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (LI 1652).

[16] Regulation 1, the Fire Precaution (Premises) Regulations, 2003 (LI 1724).

[17] Section 113, the Land Use and Spatial Planning Act, 2016 (Act 925).

[18] Section 3, Factories, Offices and Shops Act. 1970, Act 328 (Factories Act).

[19] Section 24, the Immigration Act, 2000 (Act 573).

[20]PEF, PEF Research Report on Cost of Administrative Corruption, (2020), https://www.pef.org.gh/index.php/en/2015-11-04-19-46-07/pef-research-reports/item/161-report-on-the-cost-of-administrative-corruption (2020).

[21] Ibid.

[22] PEF, PEF Research Report on Cost of Administrative Corruption, https://www.pef.org.gh/index.php/en/2015-11-04-19-46-07/pef-research-reports/item/161-report-on-the-cost-of-administrative-corruption (2020) and Kasser-Tee, C. K. B. (2020). Understanding, Preventing and Fighting Administrative Corruption in the Business Registration Regime in Ghana. Business Law Review41(4).

[23] See World Bank. (2019) Doing business 2020. World Bank Publications, 2020. World Bank. (2008).

[24] See Schueth, S. (2011). Assembling international competitiveness: The Republic of Georgia, USAID, and the Doing Business project. Economic geography87(1), 51-77.

[25] Shengelia, T. (2017). The role of state regulation of investment in the Georgia business development. International business in the world economic system.

[26] Mundial, B. (2013). Doing business 2013: Smarter regulations for small and medium-size enterprises. The World Bank.

[27] Supra note 29.

[28] Mundial, B. (2013). Doing business 2013: Smarter regulations for small and medium-size enterprises. The World Bank.

[29] Ibid.

[30] Zhghenti, T. (2017). Institutional Framework of the Economy against Corruption in Georgia. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance8(4), 198-201.

[31] Ibid.

[32] World Bank. (2019) Doing business 2020. World Bank Publications, 2020.

[33] Gongeta, S. (2018). Impact of economic crisis on business regulation reforms. International Entrepreneurship Review4(3), 167-176.

[34] See http://www.doingbusiness.org/en/reforms/overview/economy/new-zealand (15.9.2018).

[35] Vujčić, B., & Gongeta, S. (2018). Removing regulatory burdens and boosting competitiveness. In Economic Integrations, Theory, Tooperation and Perspectives; Integrations reforms and business challenges. Libertas Međunarodno sveučilište; Association for European Community Studies in BiH.

[36] Section 38(1), the Revenue Administration Act, 2016 (Act 915).

[37] Supra note 25 (PEF Research Report 2020) and (Kasser-Tee 2020).

[38] Chambers, D., McLaughlin, P. A., & Stanley, L. (2019). Barriers to prosperity: the harmful impact of entry regulations on income inequality. Public Choice180(1-2), 165-190.

[39]World Bank. (2019) Doing business 2020. World Bank Publications, 2020.

[40] Ghana law has minimum capital requirements. This paper discusses only the compliance requirements and leaves the discussion of whether or not minimum capital requirements should be abolished for another paper.

[41] Klapper, L. F., Delgado, J. M. Q., & Lewin, A. (2008). 2008 World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Survey: The Impact of Modernized Business Registries. Kauffman Foundation Other Research.

[42] Knox, C., & Janenova, S. (2019). Public management reforms: one-stop shops to digital government. In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics.

[43] Ibid. See also Scholta, H., Mertens, W., Kowalkiewicz, M., & Becker, J. (2019). From one-stop shop to no-stop shop: An e-government stage model. Government Information Quarterly36(1), 11-26.

[44](Kasser-Tee 2020). Supra note 25.

[45] World Bank. (2020) Doing business 2020. World Bank Publications.

[46] See Coletto, D. (2019). Informal Economy. The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies, 1-8.

[47] Djankov, S., La Porta, R., Lopez-de-Silanes, F., & Shleifer, A. (2002). The regulation of entry. The quarterly Journal of economics117(1), 1-37. See also Bailey, J. B., & Thomas, D. W. (2017). Regulating away competition: The effect of regulation on entrepreneurship and employment. Journal of Regulatory Economics52(3), 237-254.

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