Zvonko Obradović, Director Of The Serbian Business Registers Agency:

Progress On The Doing Business List Thanks To Simplified Company Registration

Serbian Business Register’s Agency (SBRA) was among the first state institutions to start introducing e-services for the economy. Last year also saw the introduction of electronic payments for the registration of financial reports, while new benefits will be provided in 2018

Zvonko Obradovic

The latest Doing Business report, for 2018, announced significant improvements in Serbia’s business climate and conditions for doing business. Serbia occupied 32nd place according to the ‘Starting a Business’ indicator and 10th according to the indicator for “Dealing with Building Permits”. This result was achieved on the basis of improvements in business regulations and raising the efficiency of registering businesses at the SBRA.

What has the SBRA done specifically to improve Serbia’s position in the area of establishing businesses?

– Serbia made a leap of 15 places, thanks to the easing of the process of registering a business at the SBRA. This procedure can be completed in one day, while fully launching operations, with all the other steps and procedures, takes only 5.5 days, which is below average for the economies of the OECD.

What role does the SBRA have in reforming construction permit issuance?

– Thanks to the conducting of reforms in the field of issuing building permits, e-permits are now issued in Serbia in seven days. In cases of the unified procedure, all claims are filed solely electronically, via the Central Register of Unified Procedures, the functioning of which is the responsibility of the SBRA. This is an information system for submitting applications, issuing e-permits and monitoring of individual cases and attached documentation. In 2017 a total of 89,000 requests were received, representing a 40 per cent increase over 2016.

The SBRA belongs to the most efficient state institutions, and you were among the first to start introducing e-services for businessmen. Is the economy ready for e-services?

– The SBRA was among the first in the country when it comes to introducing e-services. For years, all 160,000 taxpayers have submitted financial reports in electronic form, and as of this year we have also introduced electronic payments for registering financial reports using all types of commercial payment cards and e-banking.

The procedure for establishing a business in Serbia is completed in a day, while only 5.5 days are needed to launch operations

There is no eGovernment without electronic registers that ensure the linking of state organs and data exchange, which simplifies procedures. What kinds of easing have been brought by networking?

– More than 40 million pieces of data were downloaded via the SBRA web service in the first half of 2017, the automatic registration of legal entities with CRCSI (CROSO), PDIF (PIO) and NHIF (RZZO) has been enables, while the collection of data from the NBS abolished the need for representatives of businesses to come to the counter and enter details of business data into the register. The aim is to raise the level of efficiency of state bodies and eliminate unnecessary administrative procedures for citizens.

What are the plans like for next year?

– Since the start of the year, electronic registration for the establishment of entrepreneurs has been introduced, without the need to visit a counter at the SBRA or send requests and documentation by post, with the possibility of paying registration fees online. Then, via the ePlatforms of the Regional Business Register Portal, businesspeople will be able to order services from official registers of the Macedonian Central Registry and SBRA, with information that relates to registered businesses and financial reports, with useful micro and macro analyses and reports. The project, which was supported financially by the EBRD, aims to boost the business climate in the region and stimulate cross-border economic activity and cooperation, so the other registries of the region are expected to join.