Quicker, easier to register a company in Jamaica
THE EDITOR, Sir: I refer to the letter titled 'Registering a company is a nightmare' written by Winston D. Barrett and published in the October 4, 2014 edition of The Gleaner. With all due respect to Mr Barrett, the letter contained several inaccuracies, and I write now to address them.
Mr Barrett stated that the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) "will now be offering the services of registering a company at half the fees charged by chartered secretaries and accountants". This is not so. The announcement that was, in fact, made was that the COJ would be offering a service to assist persons to complete forms required for the registration of a company. There was no announcement of the fees to be charged for that service.
With the implementation of the Business Registration Form (BRF), the number of pages to be completed for the registration of a company is 13, and not 30.
While it is relatively easy to complete the forms required to register a company, it has been the experience of the COJ that persons are uncomfortable with filling out forms. Operators of small, medium and micro enterprises (MSMEs) are unable to afford the services of professionals (lawyers, chartered secretaries, accountants) to undertake that type of work, and so look to the COJ for assistance. The COJ does not intend to take work from the professionals, as well-established and large companies continue to use their services. In addition, the professionals provide an invaluable service in advising clients as to the legal and other ramifications of company incorporation. The COJ has no intention of replacing them in that respect.
While the COJ is not yet offering electronic registration of companies, it is possible to have a company registered in Jamaica in eight hours, which is less than a third of the time it takes to register a company in Florida.
The registration of a company is a relatively simple process that entails only the submission to the COJ of articles of incorporation and the BRF, which comprise together 13 pages. At the end of the process, the company will be ready to start operations, as it will be registered and will receive a taxpayer registration number, an NIS number, GCT number and a Tax Compliance Certificate, as well as registration with the HEART Trust and National Housing Trust.
Registrar of Companies