Online business registration has saved time and money for enterprises and regulators, Tran Thi Hong Minh, Director General of the Business Registration Management Department told Vietnam Investment Review.

*What is your assessment of the impact of online business registration following its launch in early 2013?

Online business administration has cut paperwork, saved time and costs for enterprises and regulators, and made life easier for entrepreneurs.

Under Government Decree 43/2010/ND-CP, enterprises will receive business licences within five working days following the completion of all necessary paperwork, but online registration will take only 3.5 days.

As the service opens round-the-clock, entrepreneurs can submit their dossiers at any time they have access to the internet.

Registration payments are also conducted online.

Online registration has also enabled us to manage company more efficiently - a very important element when it comes to granting business licences.

*You mentioned that online registration has reduced malpractice that often occurred when the process was conducted on paper. Can you elaborate on that?

One of the objectives during the development process of the online business registration was to reduce human intervention. In other words, it is designed to stop people interfering with the process.

Enterprises can also monitor the progress of their application.

However, the process still needs people to facilitate it. That's why we still need to monitor the operation and train staff.

People have acknowledged the value of online registration, but in the first year, only about 2,000 enterprises received their licences online.

*Why is that number so low?

I don't deny that. In my opinion, there are three major factors hindering new enterprises from using online registration serive.

Firstly, we have failed to spread the word about the online registration service. That's why many entrepreneurs don't know they have that option.

Secondly, the level of IT application in general and the use of electronic signatures and payments are limited in our country. This hinders many enterprises from making online application.

And finally, people still prefer to use paper they complete themselves. It's time for the public to apply new technology.

In addition, there are still some weaknesses in our national business registration information system, so we need to continue improving them and make the service more user-friendly.-VNA