About the client
The Government of Belize and the Financial Services Commission (formerly the International Financial Services Commission). The Financial Services Commission (FSC) is the regulatory body for non-bank financial services in Belize, particularly for those services provided by entities licensed or registered under the Financial Services Commission Act and the Securities Industry Act, 2021 (SIA). FSC is an independent self-financing statutory body that provides service-oriented, continuous, risk-based approach regulation that is built on integrity, accountability, adaptability & reliability.
The objective of the project was to improve Belize’s ease of doing business and strengthen its position globally by reforming the delivery of Business Registry services and implementing an online business registry system to deliver services and products digitally. This transformation was aimed at increasing the attractiveness of the country to investors and providing growth opportunities to Belize’s economy.
Belize had two business registries: one for registering domestic businesses (Belize Companies and Corporate Affairs Registry), and the other for foreign companies (Belize International and Corporate Affairs Registry). The Government of Belize (GOB) decided to consolidate and modernize both registries into a unified business registry system, more in line with international standards.
To modernize its business registration system and increase economic growth, the Government of Belize turned to technology and automation, and the implementation of a new electronic, online registry system that allows for the creation and maintenance of all companies (both foreign and domestic) via a single unified platform.
The shift to NRD Companies’ world class, web-based Unified Registry Platform (URP) was essential to improve the ease of starting a business in Belize. The modular system enables online registration of all business entities, post-registration services, electronic filing, and the production of E- certificates that are verifiable via the system.
NRD Companies’ services provided
- Implementation of NRD Companies’ Unified Registry Platform (URP) solution
- Assessment of the existing structure of registries
- Integration of all users
- Streamlining and standardization of existing processes
- Assessment of the existing infrastructure and current state of ICT capacities
- Testing, training, support, and maintenance
The outcomes of a modern registry system and elevated ease of doing business environment serves as a foundation for increasing the number of local and international registered businesses in Belize and as a result, increase tax income, encourage foreign investment, and elevate the quality of public services.
The new, all-digital and fully paperless Belize registry system ensures effortless collaboration of governmental entities and removes redundant manual paperwork in different institutions. It also transforms the way the public interacts with those public and private institutions involved in starting a business by reducing repeated information sharing, and secures and enhances data verification.
WSIS Prize 2023 Champion
Following a comprehensive review by a panel of experts, OBRS has been selected as a WSIS Prize 2023 Champion. In its 8th edition, the World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and its 193 Member States recently held their WSIS Prizes contest. Belize’s Online Business Registry System (OBRS), which went live on November 28, 2022, was selected this year as a WSIS Prize 2023 Champion in category 7 – E-Business – ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life. Winning the Champion award is a major accomplishment for Belize and the stakeholders involved in the execution of the project. WSIS represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ICT for the development community and is co-organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNESCO, UNDP, and UNCTAD. The contest was developed in response to requests from WSIS stakeholders to create an effective mechanism to evaluate projects and activities that leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to advance sustainable development.
The solutions implemented in Belize are easily replicable and countries worldwide could enjoy the same benefits by retaining the services of NRD Companies. These benefits include the following elements:
- Design and implementation of electronic registry systems
- Assessment of existing ICT capabilities
- User integration
- Training and knowledge transfer
UN SDGs addressed
By improving service delivery to individuals and businesses, improving the business ecosystem, and contributing to good governance and transparency, the project addressed three major UN Sustainable Development Goals:
- Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
- Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
- Reduce inequality within and among countries