Carolina Monteiro (Jucec): Less bureaucracy, more agility
11:57 5 de December de 2022 Por Daniel Oiticica
Carolina Monteiro, President of the Board of Trade of Ceará (Jucec)
The Board of Trade of Ceará (Jucec) is a state autarchy, a legal entity governed by public law and is part of the indirect public administration of the State of Ceará. Its main function is the registration of companies. But in the case of Ceará, Jucec is much more than that. With fully computerized processes, it was able to significantly reduce bureaucracy, with total security, and consequently reduce the time to start a business. Its systems are a model for Brazil, used even by other states. In this interview, Carolina Monteiro, President of Jucec, explains what was done to obtain such satisfactory results.
What were the factors that will contribute to the reduction of bureaucracy in the company registration system in Brazil and Ceará?
In 2007, a Law was enacted that created the National Network for the Simplification of Registration and Legalization of Companies and Businesses (Redesim), which provides for a chain of all acts related to the process of formalizing companies. Before this law, in order to be formalized, the company had to first go to Jucec, then resort to municipal bodies for urban, environmental and sanitary licensing, appeal to state bodies, in this case the Treasury Department, and in the case of any activity related to the environment, the environmental license at the state level and from the Fire Department, and at the federal level for the CNPJ. The Redesim Law says that it is the responsibility of trade boards to receive all this data and documents so that they can be passed on to the other entities needed for the formalization of the company. Before this law, without a single entry of data and documents, it could happen that, after taking the registration with the commercial registry and the CNPJ with the Federal Revenue, the entrepreneur discovered that the place he chose to develop his economic activity was not in agreement with the land use and occupation law of that municipality. And then he couldn’t get the business license. A lot of time was also wasted, in addition to the journey to register the company and going to the other bodies. Redesim allows the linking of formalization acts, through the Board of Trade, for us to integrate with all the bodies, which are needed for the operation of any company, be it commerce, industry, services, so that the entrepreneur can speed up the constitution of his business, its formalization, and from there, more quickly, he could develop his economic activity. It also allowed municipalities to promote better urban control. Often, even with the license denied, the entrepreneur already had his business being built, and continued to carry out his economic activity even without completing the formalization. With the Lei da Redesim, we developed a software in which we dialogue with all municipal and state agencies, integrating the data delivered to the Board of Trade and that we pass on to other entities.
Could you give a practical example?
We are integrated, for example, with the City Hall of Fortaleza. Before opening a registration with the Board of Trade, the entrepreneur registers on the portal and informs the location and the activity he will perform. This data goes directly to City Hall. The City Hall georeferences and we put everything in our database. The City Hall receives the data and cross-references it with the land use and occupation law, with all the activities and georeferencing of the city, and the entrepreneur can now receive the prior permit. Once authorized by City Hall, it automatically enters the registration process with the Board of Trade. Having the registration, we have an integration with the Federal Revenue, which already issues the CNPJ. We also carried out an internal reformulation within the scope of the Board of Trade. It’s no use having an automated and integrated process with the other secretariats if we don’t internally monitor the dissemination of this information in real time. Our internal process was all on paper. Today, we have a portal and we have created a system of commercial registration, which allows the entrepreneur to carry out the entire process in a completely digital way.
What was the benefit in terms of time to start a business?
Before, in Ceará, a company was set up, and was only able to function in up to 200 days. Today, we can have a company registered and formalized in up to 5 minutes, depending on the complexity of the area of activity. Also, we have evolved in some respects, such as the issue of security and universal access to formalization, which was the adoption of advanced signatures, which brings us very strong legal certainty, both for the public sector and for the entrepreneurs themselves, because it prevents fraud. Today, also in Ceará, all low-risk enterprises no longer need to pay fees to the Board of Trade to obtain their registration and formalization.
Today, the average time to open a company, depending on its size, is 12 hours…
We worked hard on our internal processes so that we could have a more agile and transparent result as well. We have adopted a mercantile registration system that involves very modern technology. Not all states in Brazil have adopted the automatic process.
How is this automatic process flow?
It uses a standard instrument, available on our portal. Depending on the size and complexity of the company, the entrepreneur signs everything electronically. We cut the payment flow because it required a clearing time. This does not apply to everyone, because we have some procedures, for example, for corporations, for cooperatives, which require an analysis of legislation. After being digitally signed, the documents go to the Board of Trade and we carry out an analysis of the process by cross-referencing. The system itself does this cross-referencing, analyzes the process and approves it in up to 1 minute. Once granted by the Board, it already follows the flow within the system to obtain the other licenses, permits and registrations necessary for its operation.
Is the number of companies registered in Ceará growing?
It is growing gradually. In the first month of the pandemic, in March 2020, when there was rigid social isolation, we had a small drop, but as the process already worked in a virtual way, access to set up a business continued to work. At the time of the pandemic, other business models were emerging to meet that demand in strict social isolation. And Ceará was absolutely ready to formally receive these new businesses through the internet, a system that was open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. We had significant increases in the number of registrations, even relative to the year before the pandemic.
Tell us a little about the Simpler Company program.
From all this automation work, the waiver of public fees, we understood we could go even further. Some procedures for issuing municipal permits, municipal tax registration and others were not automated. From there, we started to dialogue with the State and with the Municipalities so that they would also work internally to automate their processes. And that’s what we did in the municipality of Sobral, the first to adopt the Simpler Company Program. We met with and talked to the municipal bodies involved in the formalization process to help them with the needs that we had to automate the process along with the internal needs of the municipality. Redesim is an extraordinary thing because it links the acts but does not interfere with municipal autonomy or the specific legislation of the bodies. We managed to make this internal process in Sobral become automated. We are doing this work with some municipalities and Sobral was the pilot. Today, in 5 minutes in Sobral, a low-risk company is effectively formalized. We are now entering São Gonçalo do Amarante, a municipality of the Port of Pecém. We are holding municipal days, to be able to sensitize the municipalities to enter this new dynamic, which allows for greater urban control and collection and greater efficiency in developing economic activities. We cannot talk about attracting investment if the municipality is not prepared for this, if it doesn’t open its business environment within the city’s reality. We are working with several municipalities for this to be a reality in at least 30 municipalities by the end of 2022.
Ceará is an example for Brazil…
When all this started to happen in Ceará, Sebrae Nacional saw how the improvement of the business environment in Ceará was progressing, contacted us and today we lead the Digital Entrepreneur Project, with nine states in Brazil, using our system. The entire database of these States is in the cloud of Etice, the technology company of the State of Ceará, and they are following exactly the same standard of efficiency.