Business Registration

Registration of businesses is one key foundation of economic development and prosperity. A registered businesses entity can enter into binding contracts and can be sued in its right. Such a business becomes identifiable. Moreover, it can also be located information in a registry that provides the physical location where the notices can be served according to the 2016 International Business Registers Report.

This reality is crucial for businesses in developing nations across Africa. More importantly, it brings the taste of a business-driven economy at the forefront of the region. With this idea in mind, Tanzania as a middle-income nation has made vital strides towards making the business a core part of the economy, but n without its shortcomings.


The government of Tanzania introduced the Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) in late 1990. The agency administers companies and business name laws, regulates business, intellectual property laws, stimulates science and technology and protects the development of creativity in artistic works.

In retrospect to the hurdles found within the business pool in Tanzania, the good and attractive story on one side does not block the dirt of another side, in this case, BRELA faces a bundle of challenges.


These challenges are based on the day to day activity undertaking by the agency in the bureaucratic process of business registration. The cost of business registration is significantly high especially for small and medium enterprises. The agency has also been using an analogy system for business registration. The bureaucracy also makes the process annoyingly time-consuming and tiring.


BRELA tried and tested, over a period of time, to make amends and has since undergone massive reforms for the purpose of improving the whole registration system. A new online application system was initiated, where a business person can register a company without paying a visit to the BRELA offices. However, Tanzania is still mentioned among difficult nations to start the business in sub-Saharan Africa.

Comparative Performance

The business landscape in Tanzania has not been promising in terms of numbers. As of October 31, 2017, the World Bank and CNBC Africa published a report on Africa best and worst countries to do business. Tanzania was ranked worst relative to its counterparts at number 137, While Rwanda ranked at number 41, Kenya 80 and Uganda 122,  telling the story of the BRELA business registration procedures.


BRELA  online application for registering new businesses consists of different 35 forms. An examination of the forms shows that there is a good intention for security, management and administration for each company to go through all this procedure. However, we need to undergo massive business reforms, in order to improve business registration procedures and reduce the paperwork especially for young graduates with the passion and desire to start and compete in the business world. The reforms will not only help business formation but will stimulate the industrialization policy as introduced and implemented by the current President John Magufuli.

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