No time saved - Business registration one-stop shop would not shorten registration period but could improve country's ratings

Published: Friday | December 13, 2013 Comments 0

 Daraine Luton , Senior Staff Reporter

THE CREATION of a one-stop shop for the registration of new businesses will not reduce the length of time it takes for persons in Jamaica to get a company started.

But Industry Minister Anthony Hylton said yesterday that the creation of the regime under the Companies Act, which is now before Parliament, is likely to lead to an improvement in Jamaica's ranking in the World Bank's Doing Business Report.

He also said it would assist the country in attracting foreign-direct investment.

Jamaica ranks 23 out of 189 economies to incorporate and register a new firm. The country stands at 94 in overall ranking.

At present, persons seeking to register businesses are required to visit multiple government offices, a process which takes about six working days, at a cost of $18,000. Same-day service attracts an additional cost of $6,000, while next-day service puts the cost of business registration at $21,000.

The process involves spending one day to ascertain from the registrar of companies whether the desired name is available and acceptable. Another day is spent filing the company deeds with the registrar of companies. Two days are required to obtain a National Insurance Scheme reference number from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, and one day each to obtain a taxpayer registration number and general consumption tax registration.

The amendment to the Companies Act proposes the set-up of a one-stop shop to allow persons to register new companies and businesses by completing a single business-registration form and other supporting documents.

"The bureaucratic process that a person must undertake in order to incorporate or register a new business or business name has rendered Jamaica's business-registration process highly inefficient and has resulted in Jamaica being ranked below the desired standard in the Doing Business Report," Hylton said.

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