Public Meeting on Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Office of the Legal Adviser
February 20, 2018

Department of State Advisory Committee on Private International Law (ACPIL)

A public meeting on MSMEs was held, under the auspices of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law, on February 20, 2018, and continued on March 9, 2018 via conference call. The meeting was chaired by a representative of the Office of the Assistant Legal Adviser for Private International Law.

Working Group I (micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMES)) of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) is focused on reducing the legal obstacles faced by MSMEs throughout their life cycle, and in particular those in developing countries. The Working Group has started with a focus on preparing legislative guides on both simplified business registration and incorporation. At its upcoming session, which will take place March 12-16, 2018, in New York, the Working Group will consider a revised legislative guide on simplified business registration (A/CN.9/WG.I/WP.109) and an introductory paper entitled “Reducing the legal obstacles faced by MSMEs” (UN Doc. A/CN.9/WG.I/WP.110). It is expected that the Working Group will complete its work on those two texts at the March session and that they will be reviewed at the plenary session of the UNCITRAL Commission in July 2018.

Participants in the public meeting were asked to provide comments on both the draft legislative guide on simplified registration and the introductory paper on reducing the legal obstacles faced by MSMEs.

Participants discussed a U.S. proposal that would emphasize at the outset of the legislative guide the importance of adopting a user-centric approach making it possible for businesses to simultaneously register with all mandatory registries including for business registry, tax, and social security authorities.

Participants also discussed a U.S. proposal to add a recommendation to the legislative guide providing that "the law should ensure that women have equality in legal rights for registering and starting a business and to avoid requirements for starting a business that treat applicants less favorably based on their gender."

No decision was taken. No report was approved.