How should the government bring small firms into the formal system? Experimental evidence from Malawi

Governments seek to reduce pervasive firm informality for multiple reasons: taxes, firm growth, rule of law, and information.

Journal Article
1 Mar 2023

Making it Easier for Women in Malawi to Formalize their Firms and Access Financial Services

In contexts where formalization of firms and access to financial services is low, research shows that combining business registration with an information session at a bank including the offer of a business bank account leads to increased usage of financial services by entrepreneurs.

Research Note
10 Jul 2015

Short-Term Impacts of Formalization Assistance and a Bank Information Session on Business Registration and Access to Finance in Malawi

Despite regulatory efforts designed to make it easier for firms to formalize, informality remains extremely high among firms in Sub-Saharan Africa. In most of the region, business registration in a national registry is separate from tax registration.

Working Paper
1 Jan 2015

Business Registration Impact Evaluation (BRIE)

This research team is carrying out a large-scale randomized trial that offers small informal firms different business registration services as well as information sessions on the benefits of separating business from household finances in Malawi to estimate the causal impact of enterprise formalization on business performance.

Research Project
30 Jul 2014