How to Register a Business – Easy Steps

There are a number of easy legal steps to be followed by the Jamaicans if you are interested to register a business. According to the Business Name Act of 1934, it is illegal to start a business in Jamaica without registering the business in the books of the Companies of Jamaica.

Within a week your company will be uploaded on the website of the Companies of Jamaica. It will give a lot of benefits to you— access to loans and grants, be able to get government and other contracts, and attract the confidence of your customers when they know they are dealing with a legal, registered entity.

Let’s go through the easy steps for a beginner to register a legal business in Jamaica:

STEP 1: There are various types of business- sole proprietorship, partnership, company, or co-operative. You must decide what kind of business you want to start. This will make the next steps very clear.

STEP 2: After deciding what kind of business you want, the name of the business should be created and finalized. It should be done before registering with the Companies of Jamaica.

The Companies of Jamaica Office details:     
Address: 1 Grenada Way, Kingston         
Contact: (876) 908-4419-26
Email: custsupport@orcjamaica.com
Official site: www.orcjamaica.com

STEP 3: Request two compulsory numbers- the Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) and the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) reference number. These numbers will need two kinds of documents:
1. Two passport-size photographs with a signature of a Justice of the Peace.
2. A photocopy of your Birth certificate.

The TRN Office details:
Address: Kingston Mall, 12 Ocean Blvd, Kingston                                  
Contact: (876) 922-7429

STEP 4: After receiving the TRN and NIS, register with the Inland Revenue Department to obtain permission to take various legal tax deductions like Income Tax, Education Tax, and General Consumption Tax.

STEP 5: You will have to obtain the appropriate patents of copyrights from the Jamaican Intellectual Property Office.

STEP 6: Register with the National Housing Trust (NHT).

The NHT Office details:
Address: 4 Park Blvd, Kingston 5                                    
Contact: (876) 929-6500, (876) 929-6627
Email: info@nht.gov.jm                 
Website: www.nht.gov.jm

STEP 7: Apply for a Tax Compliance Certificate (TCC). 
You should obtain a clearance letter from the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) office, the NHT office with the Business Name Certificate. This certification is valid for three years from the registration date.

The NIS Office details:
Address: 18 Ripon Road, Kingston 5                                      
Contact: (876) 929-7144-6

STEP 8: You need to apply for other inspections like the Bureau of Standards and the Environmental Impact Assessment.

There are different procedures and costs for different types of businesses:

a. Sole Proprietor:    

  1. A completed BN1 form should be submitted
  2. For selling tangible goods, you must submit proof of residential address and a TRN
  3.  Submit 3 passport-size photographs signed by a Justice of the Peace. 
  4. Registration fee- JA$2,000.
  5. Re-registration fee- JA$2,000 for every 3 years.

b. Partnership (2-20 persons):

  1. A completed BN2 form.
  2. Proof of residential address and TRN are required for the applicants.
  3. 3 passport-size photographs of each partner, signed by a Justice of the Peace
  4. The National Identification Card of each partner.
  5. Registration fee- JA$2,000.00

c. Company:

  1. A completed Form 1, Declaration of Compliance.
  2. A completed Form 1A, Articles of Incorporation.
  3. A completed Form 17, Address of Company.
  4. Form 1A must be stamped at the Stamp Office and the Transfer Tax Department. The stamp cost- $500.
  5. Registration fee- JA$12,000.
  6. Must submit Form 20, which states the Board of Directors, with at the time of registration or 14 days after registration for $4,000, but forms submitted after the end of the 14-day period will cost $6,000, are signed by a Justice of the Peace.
  7. Re-registration fee- JA$2,000 for every 3 years.
  8. All free-zone companies must pay US$275.

    d. Co-operatives (minimum of 10 persons) 

  1. Compulsory registration with the Department of Co-Operatives and Friendly Societies. Documents needed to register:
  • A letter that requests registration to form a co-operative business.
  • Statement of the nature of the business.
  • 3 mistake-free copies of the co-operatives proposed rules.
  • 2 completed application forms including the registration fee of $2,000.
  • 2 copies of a completed registration agreement, signed by the co-operative’s relevant officers.
  • A project proposal that includes a business plan, cash-flow projections, and/or feasibility study for a 5-year period. This should show the plans monthly for the first year, and then yearly for subsequent years.                                 

2. When forming a co-operative, you must also form a steering committee from among the members. A steering committee should comprise an odd number of members, e.g., 5, 7, or 9 members. 

3. Training is conducted for a minimum of 10 hours at a cost of $900 per hour. Must pay an optional $3000.00 for the preparation of rules or buy a model rule, which costs $3,000 for a hard copy and $2,500 for an electronic copy.

Thus, if you follow these steps carefully then you will be a proud owner of your business within a few weeks. If you have more doubts then you can contact your nearest local tax office. 



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