Meet the public service growth hackers

Learn how regulatory and licensing agencies must embrace digital channels to drive the economy.


Starting, growing and closing a business can be a difficult time for anyone. As business owners go through these critical periods of change, they will access government services to stay compliant and gain support. Managing these "corporate formalities", such as securing permits, licenses, grants and tax credits, is vital to running a business legally and effectively. Citizens expect the experience to be quick, easy and digital.
54 percent of citizens want to apply or renew licenses, registrations and permits digitally
In the race for sustainable economic growth, regulatory and licensing agencies must embrace digital to become public service "growth hackers". They need to become more proactive partners focused on the success of their business community—while still protecting public welfare—delivering public service for the future.


We evaluated 18 regulatory and licensing agencies in 6 countries from a business owner’s perspective to explore the current state of digital best practice. Despite a general move towards digital channels by governments, most regulatory and licensing agencies are still looking digital, not being digital.

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Key Findings

One-stop shops

All six countries studied have centralized websites, but half of them are still looking digital instead of being digital. The experience of business users varies greatly—from advanced online business portals that act as genuine one-stop shops, to digital link libraries that simply point users to other parts of government.


Agencies responsible for corporate formalities have not fully embraced the possibilities of mobility. While three out of the six countries studied offer a mobile application, only one offers direct access to government services.

Open data

Four of the countries studied have already opened access to business registration data (or plan to do so).

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Regulatory and licensing agencies must move from looking digital to being digital if they are to support economic growth. Collaboration across government is key, but by prioritizing digital, agencies can greatly improve the customer experience, provide better support to business users and, in turn, drive economic growth— delivering public service for the future.

Download PDFDownload the point of view to find out more. [PDF, 640 KB]

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Mark Howard
Global Public Service Administration and Regulatory Lead

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