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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kiev Lessens Red Tape of Registration

KIEV -- Ukraine on Tuesday enacted a law streamlining the registration and licensing process for businesses to drastically reduce the time and money required to get a business running in the former Soviet republic.

Foreign investors have long complained that Ukraine's labyrinthine licensing requirements were a major deterrent to investment and development of small- and medium-size business.

The law, signed by Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma and published in the newspaper Holos Ukrayiny, said the licensing process would take no more than five days for most types of businesses to obtain seven basic licenses.

Previously, new firms had to get more than 90 licenses for about 1,000 types of business activities. This took at least several months and required visits to more than 30 ministries and up to 800 municipal bodies.

Top officials conceded the process, inherited from the Soviet era, presented opportunities for officials to demand bribes for each document required.

"Limits ... will continue only for those types of businesses that have to do with human health, the environment and national security," the law stated.

It reduced the number of businesses requiring complex permits to 41 from 90, and said the licensing process would take no more than 30 days.

Businesses subject to stricter permits are in the mining, manufacturing, arms, pharmaceuticals, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, legal, auditing, insurance, medical, transportation, education, tourism and telecommunications sectors.