Empreenda Fácil: Making it Easier and Faster to Open a Company in Brazil
Since his election, São Paulo’s mayor João Doria has been making waves for his business approach to politics. A successful businessman himself, Doria’s campaign was based on the idea that he would run the city of São Paulo like one of his businesses. To honor that promise, he recently rolled out a program called Empreenda Fácil (Easy Business) aimed at minimizing the bureaucracy and time involved in opening a company in Brazil.
It currently takes roughly 100 days to open a business in Brazil’s red-tape laden system. The World Bank’s 2017 Doing Business study ranked Brazil at 175 out of 190 countries in the category of ease of opening a business. Yet still, São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city and the country’s commercial capital, had an average of 250 new businesses opening each day under the previous system. The new, “easy” program should see those numbers skyrocket.
Empreenda Fácil cuts out the running around to different government facilities by consolidating all the paperwork and processing in an online portal. During its first month, Empreenda Fácil saw 18,000 applications to open businesses. And the waiting time to open a business under the program? A mere seven days. Currently, the program only works with businesses that do not require certain types of licensing, accounting for 80 percent of all businesses in São Paulo. Eventually, other types of businesses, such as hospitals, will also be able to use the program to facilitate their startup process. The ultimate goal is for companies to be able to open in just two days.
Not only is it a boon to São Paulo’s entrepreneurs, the program, according to Doria, increases Brazil’s standing in the global market: “This modernization gives the city international visibility.” Professor Letícia Menegon, coordinator at the Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Superior School of Advertising and Marketing said, “This can have a significant impact. We’re beginning to shape up to the international standard.”