Doing business

About Doing Business 

About Doing Business 

The Doing Business Project measures business regulation and its effective application in 189 economies and in some cities at the sub-national and regional levels. Launched in 2002 by the International Finance Corporation, affiliated to the World Bank, it analyzes the regulations applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises during their life cycle in a country's largest business metropolis and only deals with the formal sector of the economy. Doing Business measures regulations in 11 areas of the life cycle of a business: business creation/registration/start-up, granting of construction permit, connection to electricity, transfer of ownership, obtaining of loans, protection of minority investors, payment of taxes, cross-border trading, contract enforcement, insolvency settlement and labour market regulation.

Published by the World Bank Group every year since 2004 (in October), the Doing Business Report also seeks:

• to monitor reforms introduced to business regulations (in particular legal reforms);

• to measure their implementation in each country and to provide a channel for the dissemination of good regulatory practice worldwide.

Economies are ranked on their ease of doing business, from 1–189. A high ease of doing business ranking means the regulatory environment is more conducive to the starting and operation of a local firm. Ranking is determined by Aggregated Border distance scores in relation to the 10 Doing Business Themes, which are themselves made of sub-indicators.  The weighting by indicator is the same. 0 representing the worst performance and 100 representing the best.

NB / The period covered by the measured data runs from 01 June of the previous year to 31 May of the current year




















Reform period and data collection period

Dead line

Investigation/data survey and Communication




Publication of the DB Report


Methodology Doing Business


What does the Doing Business Report measure?

Indicators of the Doing Business Report:

  • cover the regulations applicable to small and medium-sized enterprises during their life cycle;
  • are based on typical scenarios;
  • are applied to the most important business metropolis of each economy and also the second most important business city for countries with more than 100 million inhabitants;
  • relate to the formal sector of the economy.


THEY DO NOT MEASURE all aspects of the business environment such as macroeconomic stability, corruption, skill level of the labour force, proximity to markets, specific regulations for foreign investment or financial markets


What does the Doing Business Report Cover?

Indicators of the Doing Business Report.  Comparison of 11 regulatory fields


Complexity and cost of regulatory procedures

Starting a Business

Procedures, time, cost and minimum capital required to start a business

Obtaining construction Permits

Procedures, time, and costs to complete all required formalities to build a warehouse

Good practices regarding building regulations:

  • Does the building code comply with good practices?
  • Who approves the design? How are inspections carried out before, during and after construction?

What qualifications are required for professionals reviewing plans or performing inspections?  What are the rules regarding liability and insurance?

Connecting to electricity

Procedures, time, and cost to connect to the electricity network

Reliability of electricity supply by measuring both the duration and the frequency of power outages

Transfer of Property

Procedures, time and costs, reliability, transparency, and geographic coverage of land management systems as well as dispute resolution of land issues

Tax payments

Payments, required timeframes and total tax rate for a company to comply with all tax obligations, post filing process measures, such as tax audits, tax refunds and tax appeals

Cross-border trade

Documents, time and cost of export and import by seaport 

Obtaining loans

Legal treatment of pledged personal property, personal property security regulations and credit information systems

Protecting Minority Investors

Statements and Liability in transactions between related parties

Enforcement of contracts

Procedures, time, and costs to resolve a trade dispute, quality of judicial system, and Court infrastructure to improve the efficiency of the legal system

Resolving Insolvency

Time, cost and recovery rate to resolve a commercial dispute

Hiring workers

Flexibility in hiring.  This indicator is not yet integrated into the Doing Business reforms processes in Burundi

Institutional Structures of Doing Business Reforms

Institutional Structures of Doing Business Reforms

The reforms are the result of joint efforts of the structures composed of partners from the public and private sectors.  These include:

  • The Decision-Making Committee of the Doing Business Reforms chaired by His Excellency the Second Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi;
  • The Executive Secretariat of the Doing Business reforms whose Executive Secretary is the Head of Human Capital Reform and Development Department at the Investment Promotion Authority;
  • Technical Working Groups around each indicator whose secretaries are the senior officers in the Department of Reforms and the Human Capital Development at the Investment Promotion Authority.


Key Dates



  • Order n° 121 / VP / 003 of the 19th November 2010 on establishment and organization of the structures of the Doing Business reforms in Burundi.  
  • Establishment in November 2010 of a Decision-making Committee chaired by the Second Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi to steer reforms aimed at improving business climate indicators.
  • Composition of the Bureau of the Decision-making Committee;
    • His Excellence the Second Vice-President of the Republic
    • The Minister of Commerce, Industry, Posts and Tourism
    • The Minister of Finance and Economic Development Planning
    • The President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burundi.
  • Setting up of the technical working groups: company registration, obtaining of building permits, transfer of property and protection of the Investors.



  • Commencement of implementation of reforms: May 2011.
  • Establishment of technical working groups: payment of taxes, cross-border trade and resolution of insolvency.


Establishment of the technical working group: Access to credit


  • Order No. 121 / VP2 / 035 of the 25th April 2013 appointing the members of the Executive Secretariat of Doing Business Reforms in Burundi.
  • Establishment of the technical working group: enforcement of contracts.



Trend of the Doing Business ranking for Burundi

The Doing Business in Burundi

The improvement of the business climate remains one of the main priorities of the Government of Burundi. Since November 2010, the launch of the thinking process in Burundi on Doing Business indicators, significant progress has been made by the country in initiating and implementing reforms.

Since 2011, the Burundi Government has made major reforms in improving its business environment.  Reforms already carried out have gradually improved the business climate and the image of the country while bringing tangible results to the economy. These reforms have led Burundi to being ranked for three consecutive years in 2011, 2012 and 2013, among the 10 best reformers in the world.  It should also be noted that Burundi is one of the 9 out of 20 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa that have made great improvement in terms of reforms for the last five years (DB 2015 Report).

However, there is a need to increase the momentum for effective implementation of the reforms undertaken so far.

Trend of the Doing Business ranking for Burundi







Distance to the border

Distance to the border



  1. Starting a business








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors:

  • DB2013: Burundi has made significant progress by eliminating certain requirements for starting a business: the authentication of statutes by the notary, the publication in an official journal (the BOB) and the registration of new companies in the Ministry responsible for trade;
  • DB 2014: Significant reduction in the time needed to register a company, strengthening of the one-stop shop for company registration by integrating an officer from the labour inspection bureau 

*Other reforms:

  • In 2012: Establishment of the One-Stop Shop for Business registration (IPA/ OBR / Trade Tribunal)

Costs are reduced from 62 500 BIF to 42 500 BIF (i.e 20 000 BIF less, following the removal of the cost of seal)

Time has been reduced from 14 days to one day (24 hours)



  • In 2013:

strengthening of the one-stop shop by integrating an officer from labour inspection bureau

Time has been reduced to 24 hours

Cost reduction from 42 500 BIF to 40 000 BIF:

Ministerial Ordinance No 550/779 of 31/05/2013 fixing the fees for the Trade Registry Certificate.

  • In 2014:

Strengthening the One-stop shop through the integration of the National Institute of Social Security and Commercial Court.

Simplifying procedures for the registration of branches

Law No. 1/12 of 9 April 2014 on the accession of Burundi to the apostille convention of October 5, 1961

  • In 2015:

Promulgation of the Commercial code to strengthen the legal status of the One-stop shop at IPA in transferring complete jurisdiction in the delivering of Tax Identification Number as well as registration in the Trade Register

* Law n ° 1/01 of January 16, 2015 revising the law n° 1/07 of April 26, 2010 on the Commercial Code.

 Ongoing reforms

-Adoption of the draft of the Code of private companies with public participation.

-Computerisation of the one-stop shop to enable online business registration.


  1. Construction Permits








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors:


  • DB 2012:
    Burundi has made progress under this indicator by reducing costs for carrying out the geotechnical study.
  • DB 2013:
    Removal of the need for an authorization from Ministry of Health and reduction of fee for geotechnical study.
  • DB 2014:
    Establishment of a one-stop shop for the granting of a building permit, integrating all the stakeholders.

*Other reforms:

  • DB 2013

Establishment of a one-stop shop for issuing the building permit, since March 11, 2013, which led to a decrease in the number of procedures. Likewise, delays and the costs related to the obtaining of the Building permit have been reduced.

The one-stop shop is made up of the following institutions:

  • General Directorate of Urban Planning and Housing
  • Land Titles
  • National Land Registry
  • National Telecommunication Company (ONATEL)
  • National Water Company (REGIDESO)
  • General Directorate of Municipal Technical Services (SETEMU)
  • Commercial Bank 
  • 2014-2015

Strengthening the one-stop shop by setting up a single point of contact at the one-stop shop who is responsible for receiving all requests and submitting them to the back office

In 2015, Burundi simplified the single form for building permit by making it easier for applicants.

  1. Connecting to electricity









* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors:

DB 2014:

The liberalization of the sale of transformers and the reduction of the costs for connecting to a new medium voltage.

 *Other reforms:

  • 2012-2013

The reduction of delays and costs for connecting to a medium voltage, bringing it down to a maximum of 16 days for connection procedures.

Establishment of one-stop shop that brings together all REGIDESO departments in charge of the connection procedures.

  • 2014

Reduced cost and time for connecting

Making available of 4 telephone numbers to call in case deadlines are not met

Translation of the application form into English.

  • 2015

In 2015, Burundi enacted laws on the organization of the electricity sector:

Law No. 1/13 of 23 April 2015 on the restructuring of the electricity sector and Law No. 1/14 of 27 April 2015 on the Public-Private Partnership.

  1. Transfer of ownership








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors: 

  • DB 2013:
    Burundi has reduced the time for the transfer of ownership by setting the maximum period of time for the processing of land registration files
  • DB 2013:

Establishment of the one-stop shop made of the Land Titles Department, OBR, City Council for property transfer ownership to reduce procedures and time.

*Other reforms:

  • 2014-2015

Design of contract template for the transfer property ownership

Ongoing reforms:

Adoption and enactment of a bill on Urban Planning and of the Law on land-use planning.


  1. Access to credit








  • 2013

Promote the legal protection of borrowers and lenders as well as the sharing of information on credit, the elaboration of draft laws on personal property security and credit bureau.

  • 2014-2015

Draft law on the credit bureau and the register of guarantees in the process of being adopted in parliament


  1. Protection of investors








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors: 

DB 2012:

Burundi has strengthened protection of investor by introducing new requirements for the approval of transactions between related parties, requiring greater disclosure of the annual report of the board of directors and making it easier to prosecute directors in the event of prejudicial transactions between related parties 

*Other reforms: 

  • 2011:

Adoption of the Code on private companies with public participation 

*Ongoing reforms:
Draft review of the Code on private companies with public participation

  1. Tax payment








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors: 

  • DB 2011:

Burundi has improved on this Indicator by replacing the transaction tax with value-added tax

  • DB 2012:

Reduction of the frequency of payment by companies of social security contributions from monthly to quarterly

DB 2014:

Reduction of the corporate tax rate by reducing the income tax rate 

*Other reforms

  • 2013

Reduction of time, delays and costs 

  • 2014

Law No. 1/02 of 24/01/2013 on Income Taxes (Burundi Official Journal No.1/2013)

Decrease in tax filing and payment time

Reduction of the income tax rate (from 35% to 30%)

Removal of the minimum tax (1%).

Progress on the establishment of approved management centres.

Designing of the taxpayer's charter and a single declaration form including VAT, Employment Income Tax and Withholding Tax


  • 2015

During 2014-2015, Burundi continued to improve the "Payment of Taxes" indicator by modernizing tax legislation in order to facilitate users in fulfilling their tax obligations (promulgation of tax laws on income, VAT and tax procedures).

In order to facilitate tax audits, a Ministerial Order of October 2014 allowed the establishment of approved management centres that will assist small and medium taxpayers to meet their tax obligations.

In addition, Burundi has taken many steps in the post filing process 

  1. Cross-border trade








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors: 

  • DB 2013:
    Burundi has reduced time for the indicator by improving the use of electronic data sharing systems, the introduction of a more efficient system for tracking goods in transit, and improving coordination at transit points with neighbouring countries.
  • DB 2014:
    The removal of the requirement of an inspection report before sending the results.

*Other reforms:

  • 2013-2014

Decrease in time, number of documents and cost of import / export;

♦ Inspection based on operational risk since May 2013 (Best Practice);

♦ Establishment of the system of "Accredited Economic Operators";

♦ Import and installation of scanners at Bujumbura port and border posts.

  • 2014-2015

Cost reduction in the cross-border procedures

Deployment of customs auditors to Dar-es-Salaam.

During 2014-2015, Burundi continued to facilitate cross-border trade by computerizing customs services and allowing online reporting (interconnection of customs services at Bujumbura border and port). Migration from The ASYCUDA ++ to ASYCUDA WORLD was effective in May 2013.

Launch of the Electronic Single Window for commercial transactions.

  1. Resolving Insolvency








* Reforms Recognized by World Bank Assessors: 

  • DB 2015

Ratification of Burundi to the New York Convention (Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards since April 2014).

National legislation on deal proceeding and bankruptcy procedures, although scattered and fragmented.

  • Ongoing reforms

Adoption of the bill on the insolvency of the trader in Burundi. A single law integrating cross-border insolvency resolution.


10. Contracts enforcement








*Other reforms:

  • 2014-2015

Capacity building for the magistrate staff of the Trade Tribunal, the Commercial Chamber and the Court of Appeal.