Friday, September 30, 2022

Businesses worried about slow issuances of trading licenses

BOCCIM has met with officials from the Ministry of Trade & Industry following complaints by the business community regarding cumbersome and lengthy procedures for payment of annual fees for existing businesses.

The meeting was held in a bid to resolve the impasse in the spirit of reducing the cost of doing business in Botswana.

According to a statement from the organisation, one major area of concern that has been brought up by BOCCIM was the slow process of inspections to obtain a license; it has been agreed that health inspections of businesses would now take place 3 months prior to the license expiry date, this in effect should not delay the revalidation of the license.

“The documentation required for submission, to renew a license, duplicates the documentation submitted with the initial application. This not only causes an inconvenience for those in business but can also be a costly procedure.”

The Ministry of Trade and Industry has agreed to facilitate the formulation of an application form for license renewals, which will capture changes and update the information on the existing company file.

“This is a practical approach, which will ease the renewal burden that many businesses face. It was also agreed that in the case of an existing business, which has already been previously inspected and licensed, new conditions should not be imposed on the existing business through subsequent inspections which would unduly prejudice a business, unless the circumstances are exceptional,” the organisation said.

There was also a concern raised that there seems to not be a clear rationale for license categories, as a result some businesses get inappropriate classification, in some instances these were issued with exemptions.

The Ministry has acknowledged that a list of categories is being compiled, of which they are also capturing the various business categories through the applications received. BOCCIM and the Ministry will continue working on this element with a proposed solution by end of October 2012.

BOCCIM commends the effort and urgency the Ministry of Trade & Industry has taken in addressing the licensing issue, which has for many companies been a hindrance. The cooperative approach of working together to solve issues that affect the ease of doing business in Botswana is proving fruitful.
BOCCIM will continue to engage the Government to ensure that procedures and regulations are not punitive but facilitate business operations. BOCCIM kindly requests all existing businesses that are experiencing bureaucratic delays in paying their license fees to contact BOCCIM’s Public Affairs, Marketing & Communications Office.

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