Learn how the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus). Find Out


Promoting Business Registration with Entreprenant Status in Benin

August 28, 2019

A marketplace in Benin

Policy Issue:

Benin, along with 16 other OHADA countries in Africa, revised its commercial laws to introduce a new status called Entreprenant. This status is designed for micro and small businesses, and makes registering with this new status easy, free of charge and possible in only one business day.

Informality has important implications for government and firms - governments may face difficulties collecting taxes to finance public services, informal firms may not be able to access bank financing, public contracts and government programs and may face more corruption or intimidation from the authorities, and formal firms may suffer from unfair competition by the informal sector and from higher taxes if all the tax burden is supported by the formal sector.

The study pilots a set of intervention that accompanies the introduction of the Entreprenant status. They are 1) an in-person visit explaining the benefits of formalization, 2) facilitated access to government training programs and support in opening a business bank account, in addition to the in-person visit, and 3) support in dealing with tax authorities, in addition to the previous two benefits.


The study shows that enhancing the benefits of formalization through personalized assistance induces more firms to formalize. However, formalization appears to offer limited benefits to the firms, and the costs of assistance are high, suggesting that such enhanced formalization efforts are unlikely to be cost effective.


Policy Brief

Methodology Note

Baseline Report

Midline Questionnaire


Midline Report

Qualitative Methods

Midline Technical Working Paper

End-line Technical Working Paper

Survey instruments, survey data, and replication files 

Journal Publication


Najy Benhassine, Regional Director, the World Bank

David McKenzie, Lead Economist, the World Bank

Victor Pouliquen, PhD Candidate, Paris School of Economist

Massimilano Santini, Visiting Policy Fellow, European University Institute

Funding Partners:

Benin Investment Climate project

Competitiveness and Integrated Growth Opportunity project

Competitiveness Policy Evaluation Lab

Development Economics Research Group

Impact Evaluation to Development Impact (i2i)

The Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL)