Rashad Bibars, acting project director for the USAID LENS project

Registering Right

Registering a company can be fraught with difficulties. But a new USAID-funded guide is here to help.

By Rebecca Irvine

The Startup Guide is a free, comprehensive guide on how to approach registering a business within the Kingdom. It was put together by USAID Jordan’s Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS), which found a lack of communication between government bodies, lawyers, and business owners often prevented small businesses from registering themselves correctly.

Rashad Bibars, acting project director for the USAID LENS project, says there are thousands of people whose great business ideas never come to fruition because they lack the resources. The guide seeks to overcome this lack of knowledge and clarity.

How did you go about creating the guide?

We partnered with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Companies Control Department (CCD) to improve the efficiency of business registration process for micro and small enterprises (MSEs). From the feedback we gathered from ministry employees, government officials, and business owners, we realized that there was huge demand for one resource that outlines the entire business registration and licensing process in Jordan from A to Z in a clear and reader-friendly manner, and this is why we developed the Startup Guide.

What challenges do entrepreneurs face when establishing startups?

We found that lack of clarity is the main challenge that many people face when attempting to register and license a business. Many of them didn’t know where to go or how to start, what type of business structure to choose, fees required, documents needed, and what taxes they are subject to. In addition, most people don’t know which process comes first: registration or licensing.

Why is it so important to register a startup?

Registering a business opens up a world of opportunities for business owners, who can then gain access to finance that will help them expand their businesses, employ skilled labor, and benefit from legal protection of their intellectual property. There are thousands of talented entrepreneurs across the country who are working informally by operating unregistered businesses and this limits their ability to grow.

We want to give every Jordanian an equal opportunity to access the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to realize their potential, and the Startup Guide is an important step in achieving that. When people are fully informed, they are less afraid of the risks and more inclined to take action. Not only that, but formal businesses have a strong voice in their local community. Towns and villages that have a high number of locally-owned businesses have more engaged citizens who are invested in developing a stronger and prosperous community, and can advocate for a better business environment that will encourage in turn even more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses. In Jordan’s case, this is important because it leads to more prosperity and economic development in areas outside of Amman.