BURS partners with CIPA to ease doing business

In their efforts to ease the doing of business in the country, the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Companies and Intellectual Property Authority (CIPA).

The MOU is expected to expedite the delivery of services to businesses, by their respective entities. Through the partnership, CIPA will assist BURS with statistics and companies’ information required for the global forum on transparency and exchange of information for tax purposes to which BURS is a member. Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Gaborone on Wednesday, BURS commissioner general, Ken Morris said the MOU intends to enhance the partnership that the two entities enjoys as well as assist in implementing reforms.

“The MOU will help us exchange information and databases, especially regarding the companies that CIPA has information about.  By signing this MOU, we are now going to fulfil our requirements, thus create a better environment,” he said.

The MOU also presents an opportunity for both entities to learn and adopt best practices from one another to improve the governance framework and processes.

CIPA registrar general, Paul Masina said the signing represents a milestone for collaborative efforts and will help in providing a more committed approach to working together closely.

“This goal will eventually allow us to reach our common goal, which is the pursuit of the ease of doing business in Botswana.  Our organisations will also help individuals and the business community in their quest to set up business thus creating employment,” he said. Masina added that the relationship would enhance the country’s business environment.

CIPA’s relationship with BURS can be traced back to the days of Registrar of Companies (ROC) and Department of Taxes manual system era. By then, ROC produced certificates in duplicates, with one meant for the registrar and the other for taxes.

This created a platform for easy exchange of information on companies registered by ROC for tax purposes.

The relationship was further enhanced to the current status where the companies and business names administration system is interfaced with the BURS system to enable access to their database on shareholders and directors.

CIPA is tasked with the responsibility to implement the ease of doing business reforms and chief among them is the adoption of a unique identification number (UIN) by various stakeholders.  They also enable an environment to facilitate the completion of all procedures related to registering a business at CIPA.

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