Cutting the red tape
Sharp reduction in time taken to register companies in Jamaica
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
By the end of the first half of next year, persons should be able to register new companies in Jamaica without leaving the comfort of their homes.
The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) says once there is Internet access persons will be able to register online based on its new system that is to be implemented.
Already, the COJ has been successful in simplifying the process with the introduction of its business registration form (super form) that allows applicants to incorporate a company or register a business name in as little time as eight hours.
"There has been significant improvement with the super form, no more running around, one form, one place, one agency and come early 2015 it will be all online," Judith Ramlogan, chief executive officer of the COJ, told a Gleaner Editors' Forum last week.
"You soon won't even have to leave your house to incorporate a company in Jamaica ... we are looking at somewhere between March and June 2015," added Ramlogan, who accepted that the runaround in the past frustrated applicants.
Prior to the arrival of the super form, it took at least four working days to incorporate new companies, as applicants were required to visit four statutory agencies.
Under the old system, an individual would need to visit Tax Administration Jamaica, NIS office, HEART Trust and the National Housing Trust to complete the registration process.
"Before the super form, it was five offices, now it's only one and you are registered with all those agencies," said Ramlogan.
"In certain circumstances, you can get your company registered within a day (eight hours)," added Ramlogan.
She noted that before the introduction of the super form, an applicant was required to fill out 11 forms with 33 pages, and that did not include the Articles of Incorporation.
"Now it's one form with eight pages, in addition to the Articles of Incorporation, that has to be done."
Responding to a critic who argued that a new company could be registered in the American state of Florida in 24 hours, Ramlogan said: "You can register in Jamaica in eight hours ... the only thing is that it's not yet online but you register in Jamaica in eight hours."