Enterprise Formalization

Self-guided distance learning course on enterprise formalization

Enterprise Formalization

The course is available in English
Introduction to the course

The distance-learning course on enterprise formalization provides essential guidance to ILO staff, constituents and other partners on effective approaches towards the formalization of enterprises and the workers they employ. The course content is guided by ILO Recommendation No. 204 (2015) concerning the Transition from the Informal to the Formal Economy. With respect to the formalization of micro and small economic units, Recommendation 204 calls on Member states to undertake business entry reforms, reduce compliance costs, promote access to public procurement, improve access to inclusive financial services, improve access to entrepreneurship training, skills development and tailored business development services as well as to improve access to social security coverage.

Who attends this course?

This course is specifically designed for:

  • Policy makers such as ministries responsible for trade and industry, SME development, labour and social affairs, finance
  • Social partners: Representatives of employers' organizations and workers' organizations
  • Others: International organisations, development partners, practitioners working on enterprises formalization initiatives, private sector development, workforce development, regulatory delivery
What will I learn?

At the end of this self-learning guide, participants will have:

  • Developed a conceptual framework of why a transition to formality for enterprises and their workers is important for decent work and what it means for governments, workers, enterprises and society as a whole;
  • Increased their understanding of concepts and definitions in relation to formalization of enterprises and their workers;
  • Be able to identify success factors and challenges of an enterprise formalization strategy.
What will I be able to do?

By the end of the course participants should be able to:

  • Describe the scope of informality among enterprises and the importance of fostering formalization;
  • Identify the various dimensions that determine informality among enterprises and their workers as well as definitions and key concepts and terminologies;
  • Analyse promising practices to foster formalization of enterprises and their workers.
What topics does this course cover?

The course is composed of six self-guided modules covering the following topics:

  • Informality in small enterprises
  • Simplifying business registration, licensing and compliance
  • Incentives to formalize
  • Enhancing productivity
  • Enforcement and compliance
  • Integrated approaches

The self-guided course requires an estimated time investment of 5 hours.


The course is available in English. French and Spanish versions of the course are upcoming.

Information and registrations

For registrations and more information, contact:

Ms. Judith van Doorn
Specialist Enterprise Formalization ILO Enterprises Department
E-mail: doorn@ilo.org

International Training Centre of the ILO
Enterprise, Microfinance and Local Development
E‐mail: emld@itcilo.org