How to: Registering a business

December 11, 2015

The establishment of new businesses happens regularly during the holiday period when persons decide to take advantage of the usual heavy spending period by Jamaicans. There are several advantages to registering your business. Here are the steps to register your business legally in Jamaica.

1. Before registering with the Companies of Jamaica, however, you must decide the type of legal structure your business will take. Your options include sole trader, partnership, company or co-operative.

2. A company is a commercial enterprise registered or incorporated under the Companies Act, while a business is a sole trader or partnership registered under the Business Names Act.

3. The following categories do not need to register a business name:

a) Persons who buy and sell livestock.

b) Persons occupying public market stalls and paying market fees.

c) Firms established for social or welfare purposes, public service, religion, charity, education, art and science because their income and profits are used solely for that purpose.

4. After deciding on the structure of your business, ascertain if the name you have chosen is available with the Registrar of Companies.

5. You will need to take your Tax Registration Number (TRN) and National Insurance Scheme (NIS) cards to the Inland Revenue Department to obtain permission to take various legal tax deductions, such as education tax and income tax.

6. The company deeds will then need to be filed with the Registrar of Companies. The registration fee is $15,000 and $3,000 for each additional document including the Notice of Registered Office, Notice of Appointment of Directors and Notice of Appointment of Company Secretary.

7. Obtain an NIS reference number from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. This is free and takes two days to be obtained.

8. After completing the other requirements, the company should be registered for general consumption tax (GCT) with the Collector of Taxes in order to legally tax their products.

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