Business creation is now quicker and easier in Nepal, thanks to a new regulatory change that reduces the paperwork required for incorporation. Samriddhi Foundation, an Atlas Network partner based in Kathmandu, successfully advocated for this change to the Companies Act and is encouraging the adoption of another amendment that would expand opportunities for non-traditional businesses like rideshare companies.
Samriddhi hosted public forums, conducted meetings with legislators, and published op-eds to promote liberal amendments to several pieces of legislation. Through their advocacy, Nepalis now only have to submit Articles of Association when registering their business. Before, incorporation required submission of both Articles of Association and Memorandum of Association, a process that often took months—or longer.
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“Now, as companies do not have to prepare Memorandum of Association, we can expect the time and cost required for company incorporation to be reduced,” explained Samriddhi director of operations and outreach, Deependra Chaulagain. “Like one of our stakeholders shared in a public discussion we held in November, ‘time has costs for businesses. It shouldn’t take more than a year to set up a new investment in Nepal.’”
Another set of amendments proposed through Samriddhi’s advocacy have yet to be passed into law, but their endorsements are expected by the Federal Parliament of Nepal sometime in 2020. These proposals would modify the New Industrial Enterprise Bill to acknowledge and legitimize ridesharing businesses and businesses with no permanent address of operation. Millions of Nepali citizens would have the opportunity to earn extra income while providing innovative services that are in demand. Atlas Network’s Poverty & Freedom project has told the stories of some of these entrepreneurs, including a rideshare business in Kathmandu and a farmer with a mobile mill.