Sonia Mitchell, Gleaner Writer
Registrar of Companies Office. - Rudolph Brown/Chief Photographer
Any individual or firm buying or selling goods, or offering services from an established address should apply for a business licence certificate. This option is also available for companies which want to transact business under a name other than that under which they are incorporated.
But how does one apply for a business licence?
The Companies Office of Jamaica issues a certificate showing the approval of a registration of a business name.
The licence inspires consumer confidence because the business entity and transactions there are legitimate. The business name will be protected so no other entity can be formed with that name.
"It formalises the operations of the business entity. Once it is formalised, it allows the applicant the ability to access loans and grants from established financial institutions," said Inger Hainsley-Bennett, customer service manager at the Companies Office of Jamaica in Kingston.
Other benefits include obtaining government and other contracts, getting special rates on products and opening bank accounts.
Before registering a company, a thorough name search must be done through the Companies Office database to ensure it is available. This search costs $500. Forms can be downloaded from the website or purchased from the cashier at our office. You can also request that the name of your company be reserved for 90 days.
Individuals can register as a sole trader, partnership or as a corporation. Sign-up costs range from $2,000-$2,500. The Companies Office also provides an expedition service for the registration of companies at a cost of $3,000. The process takes two to three days for regular service and one working day for expedition, which costs an additional $1,500.
Documents required to register for a business certificate?
Complete the relevant business name application form.
- Sole trader - BN1 ($2,000)
- Partnership - BN2 ($2,000)
- Corporation - BN3 ($2,500)
Driver's licence, passport, national ID, utility bill and statutory declaration to verify current place of residence.
Taxpayer Registration Number.
An individual who is registered under another enactment, as a perquisite to practising his profession, or conducting his trade, is required to present the proof of such registration. This includes pharmacies, dental, medical practices and accountancies.
Business owners need to update an existing business before new one will be registered.