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Rio de Janeiro

Creating a More Transparent and Business-Friendly Licensing Process in Rio

Bloomberg Associates worked with Rio de Janeiro to reestablish the city as business-friendly, by replacing an obsolete all-paper application process with an online dashboard that streamlines business licensing.

I consider the Rio Mais Facil and its new dashboard to be a legacy project for [Rio de Janeiro] because it brings significant improvement in transparency and efficiency to the business licensing process in the city and is a benefit to the economic vitality of the city. The dashboard benefits citizens, businesses and city officials, who will all now have a source of information about business development in the city.

Eduardo Paes, Former Mayor of Rio de Janeiro

 

Relevant Expertise

Modernize Municipal Systems and Processes

  • Contract Transparency
  • Internal Operations and Reporting

Promote Digital Solutions and Approaches

  • Digitization of Municipal Services

Spur Business and Industry Growth

  • Small Business Support

Challenge

Rio de Janeiro had lost its edge as a vibrant place to do business, and Mayor Eduardo Paes sought a strategy to reinvigorate business and entrepreneurialism. To conduct business in Rio requires an official business license. Historically, applicants for the license were required to:

  • Submit a variety of paper forms (not available online)
  • Visit multiple municipal offices
  • Face turnaround times that could be months
  • Often hire (at considerable expense) intermediaries to navigate the system, which was rife with corruption

Mayor Paes tasked Bloomberg Associates with expediting the process of opening a business in Rio while bringing a high degree of transparency to the process.

Rio Mais Facil

Approach

We assisted the City in developing an online portal, called Rio Mais Facil, that expedited the business licensing process and thereby made it easier and faster to operate a business in Rio. This not only demonstrated to entrepreneurs that the city was serious about making it easier to start a business in Rio, but because more licenses were processed, there was a surge in business tax revenue for the city.

Following this initial success, we worked with the City to develop a dashboard, using the rich business and economic data in the newly developed portal. The dashboard allows entrepreneurs and city officials to visualize the data, using it for planning and making business-related decisions. The dashboard shows over 330,000 approved licenses. Data can be viewed by neighborhood, by business type, by how many licenses were approved or denied, and by where licenses were requested. It also allows businesses to see where there is saturation and where there is room for competition. Lastly, the dashboard enables the city to study potential zoning changes in response to rapid growth in certain neighborhoods.

Impact

Bloomberg Associates’ work in creating Rio Mais Facil has been a categorical success in demonstrating how a practical and focused solution can efficiently reverse an entrenched practice – and in the process unlocks a world of potential. Rio Mais Facil has not only cultivated a spirit of enterprise in the City of Rio, but it has also reduced corruption, increased the number of licensed businesses, and increased tax revenue for Rio.

Metrics

330K+ business licenses issues since 2016

50% Of business licenses are approved in one day

$6M+ reais in new revenue from business licensing in 2017 (a 72% increase)

30% year-over-year tax income growth over 2017