In news that should be terrifying to most US states’ technology administrators, Rwanda (yes, that Rwanda) now has an online business registration system that is faster and easier than most US states. This system allows a person to form a company in Rwanda in 1 hour.
Compare this to the standard processing time of select US Secretary of States (as of June 2010):
- California Secretary of State: 70 Days
- Maryland Department of State: 75 Days
- Nevada Secretary of State: 45 Days
- New York Secretary of State: 20 Days
- Washington D.C. DCRA: 40 Days
So if you want to file a DBA, incorporate a business or form an LLC in the United States, you will almost certainly have to wait longer than your entrepreneurial equivalent in Rwanda. This should be a wake up call to each US Secretary of State’s filing office: in the largest, most powerful economy in the world, we are now falling behind 3rd world countries (recovering from a brutal civil war) in the time it takes to register a business.
The number of new business registrations is an important indicator of the overall health of an economy and US State governments should make upgrading their systems a priority not only to make business startups faster, but to improve and streamline the internal operations of their own offices.