As per the latest report on Ease of Doing Business (EODB) published by the World Bank, Nepal has been ranked at 110 among 190 economies. Nepal had reached an all-time high of 99 in 2016 and a record low of 123 in 2009 in the EODB ranking. According to the same report, Nepal has secured 2nd position among low income economies, after Rwanda in the year 2019.
The overall EODB is assessed based on ten indicators including—Starting a Business, Dealing with Construction Permits, Getting Electricity, Registering Property, Getting Credit, Protecting Minority Investors, Paying Taxes, Trading across Borders, Enforcing Contracts and Resolving Insolvency. Among these indicators, “Starting a Business” is analyzed in the section below.
Starting a Business in Nepal
As per the report, Nepal ranks 107 among 190 economies in terms of ‘Starting a Business’. The ranking is calculated by considering 4 different indicators – Number of procedures required to start a business, Time (number of days required), Cost (% of income per capita) and Minimum capital (% of income per capita). Figure 2 represents Nepal’s ranking from the year 2010 to 2019. The diagram does not have the figure of Minimum Capital required to start a business as the values were null/ zero in the mentioned years.
Data show that starting a business in Nepal was easier back in the year 2010, as compared to the recent years. Over the years, ranking ebbed because of the change in number of days required to start a business and Cost (% of income per capita). As such, with the decreasing percent of income per capita and the number of days required, the business ranking has fallen simultaneously excluding the year 2014.
Improvement in the ranking in the year 2014 was due to the administrative reform at the Office of Company Registrar. It reduced the overall duration for registering a business from 29 days in 2013 to 17 days in 2014. Further, with an aim to ease the documentation process, government also established a data link among the governmental agencies involved in the registration process. As of 2019, registration of business can be done online within few hours. 
Global Best Practices
To make data on ‘Starting a Business’ comparable across economies, reports on 4 countries of different continents based on their rankings and income status are analyzed below:
1. New Zealand: For 2019, New Zealand occupied pole position in the EODB report. The country made starting a business easier in the year 2009 by introducing simple online registration system, which allowed the completion of entire processing in less than a day. New Zealand stood at the first position in the year 2019 making it possible to start a business in less expense by reducing fees for searching names and company incorporation.
2. The United Arab Emirates: TheUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) ranked 11 among 190 economies in the EODB ranking 2019. However, in the Middle- East and North African region, UAE is at the top. In 2010, the UAE made starting a business easier by abolishing the minimum capital requirement and simplified documentation requirements for registration. They also eliminated the requirement to show proof of deposit of capital.
In 2017, the UAE streamlined name reservation and articles of association notarization. They also merged registration procedures with the Ministry of Human Resources and General Pensions and Social Security Authority. 
Coming to the year 2019, the UAE improved the online registration services which fostered investors to complete registration process from anywhere provided the internet connection.
3. Rwanda: Rwanda stands at number 51 in the overall ranking of 190 countries in EODB ranking 2019. However, among the low income countries, it holds 1st position in terms of ‘Starting a Business’. In 2010, Rwanda made starting a business easier by eliminating the notarization requirement; introduced standardized memoranda of association, put publication online, consolidated name checking, registration fee payment, tax registration and company registration procedures. They also reduced the time required to process completed applications.
By 2014, Rwanda reduced business registration fees, and time required to obtain a registration certificate. As per the new rule firms could register and start the business within 2 days.
By 2017, Rwanda made provision of online registration, the one- stop shop with added benefit of not requiring new companies to open a bank account in order to register for Value Added Tax (VAT).
Coming to the year 2019, Rwanda reduced the process cost by replacing electronic billing machines with free software for VAT invoices. Companies previously had to buy an electronic billing machine from a certified supplier since the year 2015.
Lessons for Nepal
Based on the above cases, Nepal also should internalize and simplify the process of starting a business by changing the policy and adopting new technology.
1. Change in Policy:
- Strong policies associated with minimizing the overall procedure, time and cost to start a company should be brought into action.
- Proper info-booklet or adequate guidance through website should be provided to the clients so that they do not have to remain in hassle while registering their business.
- In order to interchange data electronically, investment should be done in adopting e- services from the side of the government to reduce processing time and streamline the approval process (Adopted by UAE in the year 2009).
- In order to make Nepal a reform- oriented economy, policies should be reformulated in such a way that it improves at least one regulatory reform in every area measured by the Doing Business every year. (Adopted by Rwanda since 2014). 
2. Technology adaptation:
- Transacting processes online, use of free software for VAT invoices (Adopted by Rwanda since 2019) in every organization and continuous upgrade to the latest technologies will save time and cost in the process.
- A unified database management system should be adopted so that necessary information once filed will automatically be linked to the respective agencies. (Adopted by New Zealand in the year 2009).
- The business registration in Nepal since 2018 requires 16.5 days. Installing documents tracking software will ease the process by allowing firms to check the status of their document just by going online.
 “Doing Business 2019, Training for Reform”, Accessed March 5, 2019. Page 5.
 “Rankings and Ease of Doing Business Score, 2009-2018, World Bank Group”, Accessed February 27, 2019.
 “Starting a business in Nepal”, The Official Portal of Government of Nepal, Accessed February 28, 2019.
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 “Doing Business 2014, Economy Profile: Nepal”, A World Bank Group Corporate Flagship Report, 11th Edition, Accessed & March, 2019, Page 15
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