Regulatory environment in Macedonia is mostly business friendly, so the country is ranked very high on the Doing Business list. Although regulation is mostly in line with the EU or other international standards, there are serious deficiencies in the area of its actual implementation, bureaucracy capabilities and favourable treatment of different parties. Furthermore, regulatory changes are frequent, without due process and proper consultative mechanism with the public. Businesses, the public and NGOs play a limited role in the legislative and regulatory development process. Inconsistent interpretations of the legislation also create an unpredictable business environment and foster corruption. In February 2018, the government adopted a new Strategy for Public Administration Reform and
Action Plan, which focus on policy creation and coordination, strengthening of public service capacities, and increasing of accountability and transparency, which is expected to alleviate at least somewhat these problems. Public procurement is prone to corruption, although usage of an automated electronic customs clearance process is widespread. Due to its weak performance and extended procedural delays, the government abolished the Council for Public Procurement in 2018, in order to make the public procurement system more efficient. Starting a business is expedient, without a paid in minimum capital, and is done in only two days, all due to the compulsory electronic online registration. Tax procedures are not overly burdensome, due to widespread electronic filing system, although they still require significant workload, but the VAT refunds take a lot of time. Obtaining a construction permit and getting electricity are also quick, but very expensive, due to high fees by the public utilities in charge of these processes. On the other hand, labour regulation is mostly flexible - due to flexible working hours and hiring procedures: fixed term contracts are not prohibited for permanent tasks and their duration is limited to a very long period of 60 months. Collective bargaining is mostly concentrated in the public sector, so it does not incur high costs to private entities. But the minimum wage is relatively high, reaching almost two thirds of the average wage, which encourages activities in the shadow economy and unemployment. It was further increased in September 2017 by 20%, and there is a further political commitment for its growth. Firing workers could be costly due to the prescribed levels of severance pay, which rises with the years in tenure, protecting more seasoned workers. Macedonia levied the obligation of paying social contribution for natural persons on professional contracts, if they are not employed in the entity, which boosted freelancer and professional activities.